It was a great day today. We walked for our little girl, and for the millions of people living with life threatening food allergies. Our family raised just over $300 for FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) to use toward lifesaving research. Thank you so much to those of you who donated! More than $20,000 was raised by the entire event today. I am so grateful for a husband who was as excited to participate as me. When it started to rain harder, one of our kids asked again why we were walking. Bill replied that it was to show our support, and that they would understand one day. I'm so glad I married him. My very sweet cousin also walked with us in the pouring rain. Thank you, Kelly!
Food allergies are on the rise. It affects my own family in just about every facet of our life. Lydia's allergy list now includes peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, melons, and red dye. We're currently in the middle of a food challenge for wheat. Eating out has basically become a thing of the past. Lydia reacted last week in a restaurant to french fries seasoned only with salt, and cooked in canola oil- oil not shared with other food. Despite this, her face broke out during the meal, and six days later the rash still hasn't fully resolved. We can only assume there was somehow cross contamination, and it's going to be a long time before I can reconsider serving her anything outside of home again. My heart aches when I see pictures of children enjoying ice cream at a restaurant. For years we enjoyed Dairy Queen as a family, and I took it for granted. Now, I tear up daily for what should be but can't. Something as seemingly insignificant as buying a pretzel at the mall or getting gum from the gumball machine are now dreams. Eating shouldn't come with fear. No one should die from a single bite of food. And that's why we walked today.