The Allergy Mom® Melissa Scheichl Provides Education and Support

Melissa Scheichl

Growing up Melissa Scheichl (aka The Allergy Mom®) of the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada, had both seasonal and food allergies and her mother suffered a dangerous anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. As challenging and scary as these experiences were, however, allergies did not become a major focus of her life until her children were born almost 16 and 14 years ago.  
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Memo to Albany: We’re Baaack!

Albany, New York State LegislatureWith an attitude of never giving up when it comes to anaphylaxis, epinephrine and New York State schools, the Allergy Advocacy Association will participate in a legislative action event in Albany scheduled for TUESDAY, MAY 6TH. The overall theme will be:

“LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIES REQUIRE LIFE-SAVING EPINEPHRINE!”

We will set up our exhibit booth in the concourse early in the day and pass out flyers to any passers-by. There will be a press conference at 11:30am to support bill #NYS A0779 the so-called ‘nurse authorized stock epi’ bill sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Abinanti. During the afternoon we will schedule meetings with as many lawmakers as possible to discuss all bills currently pending in the legislature intended to help protect the lives of children afflicted with life-threatening allergies. We hope this will be the year to finally get legislation passed to improve access to epinephrine in all school districts large or small, rural or urban.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Baseball and peanutsYour Allergy Advocacy Association is proud to announce we’re taking the “show on the road” this spring and summer. What better place to raise awareness than at baseball parks, where peanuts and crackerjack are the top sellers?

Two of the International League baseball teams in western New York, the Buffalo Bisons and the Rochester Red Wings, have scheduled allergy awareness events for this coming season. The first will be at Pilot Park in Buffalo on SUNDAY, MAY 4TH. The title of the event is “FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS DAY: Be Food Aware Not Food Afraid!” Game time is at 1pm. Our association will set up an exhibit booth in advance, and there will be a video highlighting the major points at the events. Doctors Shahzad Mustafa and Theresa Bingemann are consultants who are taking the time to actively participate, and representatives from both Mylan and Sanofi pharmaceuticals will be in attendance. Even baseball players can get an anaphylaxis attack as you will see in the article below.

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Baltimore Orioles pitcher suffers anaphylaxis attack

Brian MatuszSarasota FL Herald TribuneMatusz gets a scare; pitcher suffers serious allergic reaction and ends up in hospital

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz pitches in a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Tuesday. Matusz pitched two innings of relief in Baltimore's 6-5 loss to Boston.

By JIM BROCKMAN Correspondent
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SARASOTA — The Baltimore Orioles and Brian Matusz survived a major scare that entailed a call home to mom and a trip to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

After Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the southpaw relief pitcher went out to dinner and ordered an Asian dish that he didn't realize had been cooked in peanut oil.

Matusz, 27, soon experienced what he described as "the worst allergic reaction" he has ever had. He gave himself a shot of epinephrine that he always has with him, and a Benadryl, but it didn't get the job done this time around.

"It was definitely scary," Matusz said Tuesday before pitching two innings of relief in a 6-5 loss to a split-squad of Boston Red Sox in front of 7,647 fans for the second sold-out game of the spring at Ed Smith Stadium. "I called my mom and she told me to try to get to a hospital."

Matusz made it to Sarasota Memorial where the staff immediately placed him on intravenous fluids to try to rid his system of the peanut oil. Matusz then suffered another allergic reaction, along with an asthma attack, while he was in the hospital's care.

"When that shot (the one he gave himself) wore off, the peanut was still in my system," Matusz said. "Fortunately, I was in a good place. Everyone at Sarasota Memorial did a great job. I was fortunate to get through it."

The allergic attacks are getting nastier as he gets older.

"I've had them as long as I can remember," the soft-spoken Matusz said. "It's something I've had ever since I was a little kid. The attacks continue to get worse as I get older. The more times it occurs the worse it gets.

"It's one of those things I have to deal with. I have to be prepared and take precautionary measures. I have to be careful."

After resting and feeling tired on Monday, Matusz was able to retire all six batters he faced and struck out three Tuesday as he continues to prepare for another season in Baltimore's bullpen.

"It got a little scary," Orioles veteran manager Buck Showalter said. "You don't realize how much peanuts are in everything. And when you have an allergic reaction like that it can scare the hell out of you."

Matusz, who was Baltimore's No. 1 draft pick (fourth overall) in 2008, pitched 51 innings in 65 appearances, all in relief, in 2013. The 112 left-handed hitters he faced last season batted a puny .168 against him. His earned run average was 3.53 and he stranded 32 of the 37 baserunners he inherited in 2013.

Peanut Allergic Teen Builds Business from Ground Up

Lily PintoKids with Food Allergiesby Kids With Food Allergies
March 4, 2014 3:26 PM
Thirteen-year-old Lily Pinto, co-founder of Don’t Go Nuts, is proving that you don’t have to be an adult to be able to help others in a big way.

Don’t Go Nuts makes foods that are completely nut-free, “from field to fingers.” Although their facility opened in 2012, the idea for the business first started to materialize when Lily was eight. At that time it had been a few months since Lily had suffered an anaphylactic reaction, and the peanut and tree nut allergies that her family had been managing since she was three had become more severe. Foods that used to be okay – such as items made in the same facility as foods that contain allergens – were now off-limits.

When Easter came around and Lily realized that she could no longer have any of her favorite candies, she started crying. “Oh Lily, don’t go nuts!” her twin sister, Mesa, implored. And they all realized that “Don’t Go Nuts!” would be a great name for a nut-free foods company. Being a very entrepreneurial family (as Lily put it, “anything in our family becomes a company!"), they decided to make it happen.

Today Don’t Go Nuts operates its own nut-free facility that they built from the ground up, making five flavors of soy butters and six different energy bars. Lily is the voice of the company, involved with the creative side of things and providing input regarding what it takes to make products that she feels are truly safe. Lily clearly enjoys the impact that her efforts are having.

“We get emails from moms saying things like ‘Wow! My eight-year-old kid has never had a granola bar and thanks to you she just had one and we’re crying,’ and it just touches me in a special place because I fully relate. We picked these products to start with because we were looking at ‘what has Lily not eaten in four years?’ and ‘when I was in a nut-free school (I’m home schooled now), what was the biggest mistake that other parents would make?’ Granola bars were at the top of this list.”

Lily’s vision for how she can help others extends far beyond what she is currently able to do. “This is just the beginning,” she says. “Right now we’re making a space called Lily’s World. I’m going to start posting on it. My goal is to do live video chats, and write a blog each month, which I recently started. A lot of kids are looking at that blog, which is really exciting for me! I want people to feel like they have someone in the company that’s a friend.

“Eventually I hope to be someone who can do school talks. And I want to make other products, like cereals, and open a restaurant. I’d love to be able to walk into grocery stores and see a nut-free foods shelf or aisle, just like the gluten-free section now. My vision for Don’t Go Nuts is so much bigger than the allergy and all of us. As long as I can help people, I plan to stay involved.”

About Don’t Go Nuts LLC

Don’t Go Nuts, a division of Pinto Barn, Inc, was created by Jane and Doug Pinto and their twin daughters Lily and Mesa. Dedicated to serving the needs of millions of children who, like Lily, have a life–threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, Don’t Go Nuts offers nut-free foods for nut-free kids and the extended world around them. Safe, healthy and delicious, Don’t Go Nuts uses only organic, non-GMO ingredients that are good for consumers and good for the planet.

About Pinto Barn Inc.

Founded in 2011, based in Salida, Colo., Pinto Barn is a collective of caring hearts who commit their energy, talents and passion to consciously creating products that help people to live healthy, whole lives. Divisions include Don’t Go Nuts and Sacred Sleep.

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