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Laurie Harada

I Don’t Define My Son by His Allergies

By Laurie Harada

When my son, Julian, was first diagnosed with an allergy to peanut the summer before starting kindergarten, I was devastated. I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of losing him to a lowly peanut. For months, I walked around looking like a deer in the headlights, my face fixed with that ‘ohmygawd’ expression. Danger seemed to …

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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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Laurie Harada

A Son’s Epiphany

By Laurie Harada

EVERY school year, we are flooded by calls from parents who want to know when their allergic child should begin carrying his or her own epinephrine auto-injector. While the national consensus guidelines, Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings, recommend 6 to 7 years of age, the fact is, this is not a hard and fast rule. …

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Gwen Smith

Let’s Stop Mocking Food Allergies

By Gwen Smith

It has become fashionable as of late to mock food allergies as a “trendy” condition, a construct of over-protective parents or attention-seeking adults. I simply can’t think of any other serious, sometimes life-threatening condition that is dissed more often. Take last month, for instance. There we were smack in the middle of Food Allergy Awareness …

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