E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

April 2023

While we are in the final preparations for Food Allergy Awareness Day in Albany on May 2, it helps to think of advocacy for those with life-threatening allergies as a journey, not a destination. Everyone in our organization works to continue the work, raising awareness and taking action. Another traveler on this journey, Lianne Mandelbaum of No Nut Traveler, tells the story of a confrontational encounter with airline staff while boarding a plane, which put her food allergic son at risk and resulted in a complaint filed with the Department of Transportation. Building upon the success of peanut OIT, fellow traveler Dave Bloom highlights Canadian research showing that tree nut OIT can be safely used to treat preschoolers with food allergies. Part of this journey is ongoing education of skeptics of the importance of our work. Former skeptic, writer Jana Pollack, tells us of her conversion upon the birth of her child. With your support, we will stay on this journey to create safe environments by raising awareness and encouraging action. So far, progress against ignorance and apathy is encouraging. Along the way, we pause to honor what has been accomplished and continue the effort to create a safe environment for those living with allergies.

What is anaphylaxis? How would you recognize an anaphylaxis emergency?  And would you know what are the right things to do? For many people, even those that have a life-threatening allergy, the answer is no. 

The Allergy Advocacy Association has a solution: Epi Near You New York anaphylaxis emergency training program.  This life saving program can be delivered via webinar or face-to-face. 

Upon completion you receive:

  • Free state approved training presentation,
  • New York State recognized certification, and
  • Assistance for public entities to obtain a non-patient specific prescription for emergency epinephrine

Find more information on the importance of this training program here.

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Best wishes to one and all!

Why I Believe Advocacy Is a Journey, Not a Destination!

Co-founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association, Toni Taylor and I are working to create a clearinghouse for allergy and anaphylaxis information by using a program of awareness, alertness and action. We have made progress at the local, state and national level, yet ignorance and apathy remain a threat to individuals and families with life-threatening allergies. We must honor what we have accomplished and keep moving forward to raise awareness of dangerous anaphylactic reactions.

Why I Believe Advocacy Is a Journey, Not a Destination!

Join Us! in Albany for Food Allergy Awareness Day, Add your voice to support Allergy Supportive Legislation May 2, 2023

By Jon Terry
April 15th, 2023

Greetings. I sincerely hope you are enjoying the spring season.

"Are we there yet?" I often think about my life in terms of "arriving," especially "on time" and at "the right location." By setting a "destination" for myself sometimes I can get my personal journey started and work steadily towards finishing what I have to do to get there. Sometimes. However, I often find myself growing tired of the road I've taken, that my journey is taking too long and I need to stop. I don't turn around and return to my starting point. I simply want to get off this road, onto another one and start a new "journey!"

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Mandelbaum and Her Son Feel 'Humiliated' by United Airlines

Lianne Mandelbaum, founder of No Nut Traveller, was recently humiliated when the United Airlines cabin crew refused to inform other passengers about her son's life-threatening peanut allergy. Mandelbaum has been working on this issue for many years. The airlines need to step up to their efforts to ensure the safety of their food-allergic passengers.

Mandelbaum and Her Son Feel 'Humiliated' by United Airlines

Lianne Mandelbaum and son Josh
Lianne Mandelbaum and her son Josh
Photo courtesy of Lianne Mandelbaum
  • A United passenger says an airline crew member refused to accommodate her son's peanut allergy.
  • Lianne Mandelbaum said she was "dressed down" after asking for passengers to be told of her son Josh's allergy.
  • United has a policy of informing passengers in close proximity if someone has an allergy.

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I Wrote a Viral Story That Offended Allergy Moms...

Careful what you write. One day, you might regret the words that made perfect sense years ago. Jana Pollack, a writer for a well known online platform, wrote an online post that angered moms of kids with food allergies. Now that she has a food allergic child, she’s had a change of heart.

I Wrote a Viral Story That Offended Allergy Moms.
Now My Toddler Has Severe Food Allergies, and I Regret It.

The author. Photo courtesy of Jana Pollack

By Jana Pollack
Apr 3, 2023

Almost a decade ago I wrote something online that angered moms of kids with food allergies.

At the time I thought they were overreacting.

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Tree Nut OIT Determined Safe and Tolerable for Preschoolers

Many thanks to Dave Bloom of SnackSafely for highlighting Canadian research that demonstrates that tree nut OIT is a safe and successful therapy for preschoolers with food allergies.

Tree Nut OIT Determined Safe and Tolerable for Preschoolers

Bowl of mixed nuts
Researchers that previously studied the safety and efficacy of peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) in preschoolers have since turned their attention to tree nuts. Their subsequent study was published earlier this year in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

By Dave Bloom

Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of SnackSafely.com.

Oral Immunity Therapy (OIT) refers to the medically supervised therapy of feeding an allergic individual an increasing amount of a food allergen with the goal of increasing the threshold that triggers a reaction.

As part of a Canada-wide quality improvement project, tree nut OIT (cashew/pistachio, walnut/pecan, hazelnut, almond, and macadamia nut) was performed in preschoolers who met one of two specific criteria:

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