Reported and edited by Jon Terry January 14th, 2021
Greetings! Last March our association participated in a major advocacy event at the US capitol lobbying for passage of two bills. The result was enactment of H.R. 2468 and advancement of H.R. 2217 the "Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2019." (In this issue of our e-newsletter, you'll find more information about H.R 2468 within our next article.)
New Federal Law Helps Schools Prevent Asthma and Anaphylaxis Emergencies
A new federal law now provides grant preferences to states that take proactive steps in helping the millions of school age children impacted by allergies and asthma. In Spring 2020, the Allergy Advocacy Association lobbied lawmakers to pass the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act. This new law may provide an opportunity to expand our educational/training, through our The Epi Near You NY program.
You can read all the questions and answers about epinephrine.
H.R. 2468 the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act Becomes Law
By Patrick Morris January 12th, 2020
This January the bi-partisan School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act H.R. 2468 was signed into law. This law will provide assistance to millions of school children dealing with allergies and asthma. It does so by providing preferences for grants, under the children's asthma treatment program, to states that require schools to establish allergy and asthma management programs.
Concerning successful advocacy during 2020 in Washington DC, congratulations to everyone who helped pass the The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2020 thru the United States Congress. Next step: The house and the senate will meet to reconcile their bills. After that the bill heads for the White House for the President's signature and enactment of the legislation. Everybody please keep your prayers and positive thoughts focused upon Capitol Hill.
“More than 1.5 million Americans are allergic to sesame, and they and their family members live in constant fear and anxiety that sesame may be hiding in the food products they buy,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE. “With today’s Senate passage, ushered forward by the incredible leadership of Senator Tim Scott and Senator Chris Murphy, a critical new law that will improve the lives of those with food allergies is one step closer to becoming a reality.”
A study published on September 21st, 2020 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal determined that anaphylaxis in children spikes during Halloween and Easter and that for tree nuts, most cases occurred in children that were previously undiagnosed.
Author, educational presenter, clinical social worker, psychotherapist and advocate are just a few of the many roles that Melissa Scheichl occupies. All these roles came about from being the mother of children with severe allergies. Her journey of learning and experiencing the impact of life threating allergies on her children propelled her to create, in 2010, the website and associated blog at TheAllergyMom.com. Since then Melissa has helped provide support and a forum for families to share their experiences as well as finding ways to educate the public about life threatening allergies.
The Allergy Mom® Melissa Scheichl Provides Education and Support
By Kristen Stewart September 9th, 2020
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.
“As a mom, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of your children,” she said. “My son Andrew's severe allergies to dust, dog dander and environmental allergies educated me on how to make our home and lives safer when dealing with environmental allergies. I learned about eczema, indoor air quality measures and how to alleviate seasonal and environmental allergy symptoms.” As if that wasn’t enough to handle, several years later her daughter Kate was born and diagnosed with severe life-threatening food allergies and asthma.
Melissa and her family watched Kate constantly, making sure she didn’t put goldfish crumbs or anything else dangerous in her mouth. However, just before her third birthday she had a bite of a granola bar that contained almonds. Despite testing negative to tree nuts on a skin test they quickly learned ingesting a food could cause a much different reaction. She suffered a dangerous attack of anaphylaxis.