Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When Anaphylaxis is a Good Thing

In September, AANMA (Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics) held their second annual Anaphylaxis Summit. I had the honor of being their guest last year as well in Washington, D.C. (click HERE for last year's recap!) but this year's Summit was equally wonderful. In fact, they have grown so much that this year's event has multiple locations. What, you didn't know that? Gosh, you can still register for their Summits in Denver, CO (Oct 10th) and Philadelphia, PA. (Oct 17th)! Just click on the Summit dates to register before the deadline and find out how you can be a part of it too.

Why Did I Go? I have learned that there is absolutely no end to how much information anyone can continue to obtain about food allergies and anaphyalxis, ever. Part of my personal passion is to continue to help others through my knowledge so I feel a personal obligation to keep up with anything and everything related to allergies. This includes all allergies, not just food because often times, food allergies and other allergies or asthma go hand-in-hand.
One way that I have found to be empowering is to attend the Anaphylaxis Summit.

But Isn't It All the Same? No, thankfully. The AANMA Anaphylaxis Summits are a collection of experts, doctors, top allergy specialists, nurses, and even every day advocates that can bring information from every angle of dealing with allergies. I feel this is an absolutely necessary part of learning to live with any type of allergy since allergies are not just about avoiding one thing in your life. Everyone needs support, everyone needs to know that there are tons of resources available and everyone should know that there are so many doctors and specialists working like mad to help get us some type of answer. I mean, look at all of the information right at your fingertips.

Tons of great resources
FAACT- always proactive

Mylan always sends what we need

Brenda Silvia-Torma (AANMA),
Sue Lockwood (ALAA) &
Tonya Winders (AANMA)
Who Was There? I had the pleasure of seeing some of the great rock stars of the food allergy world that I met at last year's event as well as meeting some new ones. There is also the added bonus of getting to meet other community advocates to pick each other's brains on food allergy topics and concerns. Sue Lockwood of ALAA (American Latex Allergy Association) always reminds us of hidden places to watch for with a latex allergy as well as mentioning synergistic foods for those latex allergic. Synergistic, or cross-reactive foods have been found to possibly trigger a latex reaction so every precaution should be taken to stay safe. You can view more information HERE on their site.

Dr. Ruchi Gupta was a returning speaker at this year's event. Dr. Gupta is such a huge part of food allergy research and study as well as being just a down-to-earth, wonderful person to speak with. Her passion for food allergy knowledge goes beyond simple studies- it includes reading materials, getting teens involved in a much-needed study and even a music video. Who knew her inner rockstar would become her outer rockstar as well! (links for both can be found at the end of this blog).

Dr. John Lee  (AllergyHome)
Dr. John Lee of AllergyHome was another speaker discussing the many tools that are available to help educate others on food allergies within your community. It's great to hear that his brain seems to be in action just as many of ours tend to be- always thinking of what else we can do to improve education and communication and how to get that out to everyone. The fact that he is easy to talk to makes you breath a sigh of relief. This is something that is much needed when you are talking to any doctor regarding food allergies and your concerns.

Karen Harris (FAACT), Dr. Ruchi Gupta,
Eleanor Garrow-Holding (FAACT)
Another one of the highlights for me was finally meeting Eleanor Garrow-Holding of FAACT (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team) and revisiting with Karen Harris. Although I have been in contact with them for many months, nothing is better than meeting in person. Both of these ladies are truly just as compassionate in person as they appear to be through their food allergy crusade. With just one conversation, their compassion is so truly evident and I know that FAACT will continue to grow as the biggest and most loved resource within our food allergy community.

 I was overjoyed to see Dr. Gene Cash again too. He gave us some wonderful information on how food allergies can impact us psycho socially and what we can do to improve this. Dr. Cash has a light-hearted sense of humor but knows how to get his information across for all of us to make living with food allergies a positive thing rather than a negative thing. (On a side note, there was a mention that he was not the most interesting man, what's your opinion?)

This was just a small handful of the many speakers and attendees that were at the Anaphylaxis Summit. To be surrounded by all of these people was amazing, empowering and I feel honored to have been able to be a part of this Summit again. If there is any question that you have about what you are doing to help, the AANMA Anaphylaxis Summits give you that extra sense of being on the right path and encourage you to continue that path with all of your being.

Brenda Silvia-Torma (AANMA), Dr. Gene Cash,
Dr. Dana Wallace, Dr. Stanley Fineman &
Dr. Menon (AAIC)
Not only do you leave the Summit with a renewed sense of power but you also leave with brand new friends that understand what you are going through too. If you are looking for just one reason to be a part of this, it's impossible because there isn't simply just one. Need proof? I can show you the reasons right here ~

I would also like to send out heartfelt thanks to Winona Pure Oils who sponsored my trip to this very special event. I am honored to that they care enough about their products and felt confident in sponsoring me to continue to work together to help others know how to stay safe and use the healthiest options. I invite you to visit their products at http://winonapure.com/ and make sure you let them know that Nutrimom sent you!

*Dr. Ruchi Gupta's Teen Study Needs You! View Here 

** See Dr. Gupta in action, singing her heart out for allergy awareness "I Will Thrive"


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