Governor Cuomo Enacts "Gio's Law"

You would think that first responders would always have epinephrine on hand to use in an emergency anaphylaxis situation when every second counts. However that was not the case when Giovanni Cipriano had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts and could not be helped in time by first responders. His mother Georgina made it her life’s mission to pass “Gio’s Law” allowing police officers and firefighters to carry and administer epinephrine, signed into law last December. You can read the full story here.

Bill Signed Allowing Police and Firefighters to Carry and Administer Epinephrine

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Georgina Cipriano Cornago - Photo by Neal P. Kemp

Edited by Jon Terry
January 12th, 2020

In late December, with the 2020 legislative session looming on the horizon, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed "Gio's Law.” This law authorizes police officers and firefighters to carry epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices to treat people having dangerous allergic reactions in an emergency.

After years of advocacy by activists in NYS, "Gio's Law" will help first responders to more effectively treat an anaphylaxis emergency. EAI devices can be used to reverse allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) from bee stings, drug reactions, food allergies or exercise-induced shock. The most commonly prescribed device is Epi-Pen© the brand name made by Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

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Peanut Patch Therapy Led to Big Quality of Life Improvement for Families

It might seem obvious that taking steps to help avoid allergic reactions to peanuts would improve the quality of life for families with someone who has a severe allergy. But it’s nice to know that a scientific study backs this up. Children ages 8-12 participated in the Viaskin Peanut study where they were slowly exposed to their allergen through a patch that releases peanut proteins through the skin and stimulates the immune system. Participants must still practice peanut avoidance, but it will take a lot higher protein exposure to cause the treated patient to react.

Peanut Patch Therapy Led to Big Quality of Life Improvement for Families

Viaskin Peanut patch

By Gwen Smith
December 12, 2019

Desensitizing therapies are emerging for food allergies and being considered for approval by the FDA. But some in the medical community raise this question: Is desensitization, which is not a cure, enough to improve a food-allergic person’s quality of life?

A new study of families involved in DBV Technologies’ Viaskin Peanut patch therapy clinical trials gives insights into an answer. It found significant overall improvement in quality of life related to gaining greater peanut tolerance on the patch treatment. As well, questionnaires filled out by both children and parents showed quality of life gains in specific areas.

With parents, “the areas where we saw the most impact were the emotional impact, food-related anxiety, and social and dietary limitations,” Dr. Todd Green, DBV’s vice president of medical affairs for North America, told Allergic Living. In the children, aged 8 to 12, “when they were asked questions around avoidance or accidental exposure, that’s where that’s where they reported the most improvement,” he said.

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Big Jon's Holiday Gratitude List '19

As we wind up yet another year, it’s the perfect time to sit back and reflect on all that has been accomplished in 2019. But of course nothing would have been possible without the hard work and support we receive every day from so many in our community. Here’s our founder Jon Terry’s list of people and organizations that have been especially helpful this past year in reaching our ongoing vision of “Not another life lost to anaphylaxis - not another life lost ANY life-threatening allergies!”

Big Jon's Holiday Gratitude List '19

Allergy Advocacy Association Gala 2019 Group Photo
Photo Credit - Kristen Zale

By Jon Terry
December 10, 2019

Happy Holidays! I sincerely hope all of our readers have had a great year and are looking forward to 2020. At this particular time of year it is a regular occurrence for individuals and organizations to offer up gratitude lists of various sorts. Most lists recount events from the past year that were particularly hopeful or meaningful. That is pretty much what I want to share with all the supporters and affiliates of the Allergy Advocacy Association. I firmly believe that we do have a lot to feel grateful about. Please see my “thank you” list below.

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The Life, Death, and Life of 12-Year-Old Wyatt Polachek, Food Allergy Sufferer and Hero

Even though paramedics arrived within five minutes after being contacted and immediately administered epinephrine, 12-year-old Wyatt Polachek died after reacting to something he ingested. He did not have his own epinephrine auto-injector with him as he had never had an allergic reaction severe enough to warrant one. Wyatt’s family donated his organs, and it is estimated they will help at least eight people waiting for transplants. This article reminds readers to always carry two epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices with them and to remember that what caused a mild reaction in the past may lead to a severe reaction in the future.

The Life, Death, and Life of 12-Year-Old Wyatt Polachek, Food Allergy Sufferer and Hero

Wyatt Polacheck

By Dave Bloom
December 30th, 2019

Wyatt Polacheck, a 12-year-old with an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, was enjoying a college football game viewing party with family and friends on November 30. He had a reaction to something he ingested and collapsed.

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Food Allergy Advocates Celebrate Courage at Record-Setting Summit

The Contains:Courage® FARE Summit 2019 was held Nov. 1-3 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center near Washington, D.C. This dynamic summit meeting drew over 1,000 participants. Tweens, teens and adults living with food allergy came together with family members, health professionals and other allies in the nation’s largest ever educational food allergy event for families.

Food Allergy Advocates Celebrate Courage at Record-Setting Summit

FARE Contains Courage Conference 2019 Poster

Edited by Toni Taylor and Jon Terry
Allergy Advocacy Association Co-Founders
November 20th, 2019

Dealing with life threatening allergies by patiently, courageously putting one foot in front of the other for the long haul, eventually achieves the desired result. This year’s Food Allergy Research and Education teen conference was a great reminder of this. There were some exciting updates in the areas of product development, advocacy, and research.

This event was a timely reminder that those dealing with anaphylaxis cannot be reduced to their allergies. In addition to courageous, they are accomplished self-advocates, creative, curious, and entrepreneurial. 

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