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Gwen Smith

The Lobby That Took the Cake

By Gwen Smith

May 2011 – Hats off to the organizers of 1 in 133, the Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit. In a matter of weeks, John Forberger, the tweeting, gluten-free triathlete (@GlutenFreeTri) and Jules Shepard (@JulesGlutenFree) managed to gather hundreds of supporters together in Washington for the impressive May 4 summit. The purpose? To send the message to …

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Laurie Harada

The Holiday Snack Tray and Allergies

By Laurie Harada

A few years back, the news media reported the results of a study that found that many nut-allergic children were unable to recognize common nuts. The article prompted mixed reviews from parents of food allergic children. Some were offended by the suggestion that parents, in trying to shield their children from danger, had not taught …

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Laurie Harada

Sharing the Allergy Load

By Laurie Harada

When my son, Julian, was diagnosed with peanut allergy years ago, I faced the news alone. My husband Victor could not come to the allergist’s appointment as he had a business commitment. Overwhelmed by the thought of possibly losing our child, I had a meltdown when I called Victor later. Sobbing, I explained: “He could …

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Laurie Harada

Food Allergy Backlash

By Laurie Harada

Ten years ago my foray into the world of food allergies began when my first born, Julian, was diagnosed with peanut allergy just months before starting junior kindergarten. Looking back, I’m amazed to see how far we’ve come as a society to address an issue affecting a growing number of children. In January 2006, Sabrina’s …

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Laurie Harada

Food Allergy and Halloween

By Laurie Harada

A few years ago, I watched as my colleague Beatrice and her young son Joey were interviewed by a television reporter about food allergies. It was Halloween and the feature was to air that evening, a perfect time to raise awareness about this growing issue for Canadian children, and about the precautionary measures that families …

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Laurie Harada

Food Allergies and the Cottage

By Laurie Harada

The day after the birth of our first child, my husband Victor and I purchased a property in cottage country north of Toronto. A nature lover who thrives on solitude, it had been Victor’s dream to own land since coming to Canada. He had grown up with a conservation park as his backyard in Nairobi, …

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Laurie Harada

Allergy and the Sibling: Unsung Hero

By Laurie Harada

As readers who are parents know, safeguarding a child with a food allergy can be daunting. Household routines, such as grocery shopping and food preparation, require adjusting, and decisions about where to dine out or travel often revolve around what’s best for the food-allergic child. While speaking on behalf of Anaphylaxis Canada, I’ve had many …

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