You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:57 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 3:14 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
As many of you know, Karen Eck, Allergic Living's moderator, is also a dedicated advocate for the food allergic. She is the leader of OASG (Ottawa Anaphylaxis Support Group) and a volunteer with Anaphylaxis Canada.

I am delighted to report that the City of Ottawa last week awarded Karen (and one other resident) its Civic Appreciation Award in the Health category. The award was in recognition of the stellar work Karen does on behalf of families living with anaphylaxis.

So congratulations and hugs to Karen. And a big thank you from all of us who benefit from the countless unpaid hours she dedicates to the cause. /Gwen


Last edited by gwentheeditor on Mon May 08, 2006 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 3:16 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Following is the letter that three of Karen's colleagues at OASG wrote to the City to nominate Karen:

Karen Eck is the leader of the Ottawa Anaphylaxis Support Group (OASG). The OASG provides support and education to families and individuals in the greater Ottawa area who suffer from allergies and anaphylaxis. The OASG has been in existence for a number of years but under the leadership of Karen, the membership base has grown tremendously. As a parent of two young children with multiple and life threatening food allergies, Karen is an exceptionally knowledgeable, resourceful and compassionate leader.

An initial diagnosis of anaphylaxis can be devastating and intimidating for people of any age. Diagnosis of a child is particularly upsetting to parents, who can feel helpless knowing that their children are vulnerable yet dependent on others who may not be knowledgeable about anaphylaxis. Karen helps people face their fears and find support and accurate information to help with the quality of their lives and of their loved ones.

Her personal mission is to ensure that individuals dealing with allergies and anaphylaxis are well educated and able to keep themselves and/or their children safe. As leader, Karen reassures both the parents of newly diagnosed anaphylactic children and long time members through a combination of support (phone calls, emails, personal visits and even trips to health food stores to help members identify safe food products) and education. Karen has arranged for presentations to educate members about the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, when and how to use an Epi-pen, and how to educate school and daycare staff. She encourages members and newly diagnosed people to find support through either the group membership or on-line forums.

In addition to caring for her family and holding a part-time job, Karen spends countless hours researching anaphylaxis and allergy related issues. As well as facilitating monthly meetings for the OASG, she sends members a monthly E-bulletin to keep them informed about the latest allergy news and to highlight activities that national organizations like Anaphylaxis Canada and other support groups are involved with. Karen is gifted in the art of communication, expressing herself with ease on paper and in person. She has developed an impressive lending library of books and videos on the topic of allergies, asthma, and anaphylaxis for group members to borrow as needed. In an effort to educate members, the OASG now stocks materials such as posters and Epipen trainers – items that are essential for ensuring the safety of allergic people.

Under Karen’s leadership and guidance the OASG website has grown and expanded to host current information and a member’s only discussion forum which is a place for people in our community to share information and concerns on a range of topics (school, day care, work, recipes, and products). The website also receives inquiries from individuals around the world, and Karen responds and/or refers individuals as required.

Karen has developed very positive relations with Ottawa area allergists and regularly sends them information on the activities of the OASG (family events, fundraisers, special meetings). In the past year she has also been interviewed on local television to raise awareness about allergies and the OASG. She has also traveled to a number of allergy related conferences at her own expense, benefiting OASG members when she returns with new ideas, product information and inspirational stories.

Karen was a strong and passionate advocate for the passage of Bill 3, An Act to Protect Anaphylactic Students (now Sabrina’s Law) in Ontario. She encouraged OASG members to write personal letters of support to the Premier of Ontario and their MPP’s. Karen even attended a rally for support of this important legislation in Toronto, with one of her sons. She has also encouraged and assisted other provinces with their attempts to pass legislation similar to Sabrina’s Law.

To say that Karen is extremely passionate about keeping all children and adults with anaphylaxis safe is an understatement. She lives and breathes anaphylaxis everyday, because she has no choice – she wants her children to lead long and happy lives. She actively seeks out information that she knows will benefit her own children and she willingly and articulately shares this information with anyone who will listen. She is thoroughly dedicated to the cause, and her research into anaphylaxis goes well beyond the needs of her own family. It is almost like Karen was born to educate others about anaphylaxis!

Karen is an advocate, role model and leader for people who live with allergies and anaphylaxis. She demonstrates that you can overcome the challenges of dealing with multiple, life threatening food allergies while enjoying what life has to offer. Not only is Karen an excellent leader, she is a good person and a true friend to those around her. Karen’s perceptiveness and sensitivity along with her awesome organizational skills and keen sense of humour have made her an exceptional leader of the OASG. She has touched so many people- not only in this community but throughout Ontario and Canada. Karen is a remarkable human being, who goes above and beyond in anything she is involved with. She has worked exceptionally hard to benefit a group of citizens in Ottawa that are desperately in need of support and information, and would have no place to turn if it were not for the OASG. Karen is energetic, putting more time into her volunteer role than most people put into full time paid positions. She is most definitely deserving of a City of Ottawa Appreciation Award.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 6:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks Gwen. I'm really am blushing... :oops:

I was really touched to be nominated for the award, and truly honoured to receive it. It was a fun night and very interesting to see what other Ottawa volunteers get up to in their spare time. (Some of the winners have been volunteering for 25-30 years. I felt like a slacker compared to them!)

I had several people come up to me and tell me that they are anaphylactic. That too was very interesting.

:) K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 12:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Congratulations Karen. :D And thank you for all the work you do.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 1:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:20 am
Posts: 122
Congratulations Karen!!!

Thanks so much for all the work that you do for those with allergies / anaphylaxis (including myself).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 5:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Congratulations Karen,

Even though my family and I are new to the world of anaphylaxis, I have seen Karen at work and have been able to witness her passion for the cause and the way she champions for it. Her little men are already following in her footsteps! I have also benefitted from her kind words of support.

This award is well deserved. Thank you Karen!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Wow - thanks everyone. :)

I have a very funny list of things that you should know by the time you're 40 (recently updated to 50), written by Dave Barry, and one of my favourites is this:

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

It always makes me laugh. I'm glad that my, uh, hobby, helps others as well as my own family.

(You can see the entire updated list at http://www.lovedungeon.net/humor/dave/19things.html. My very favourite is actually the first one. Makes me laugh out loud almost every time. Juvenile, eh?)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 9:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 928
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Congratulations Karen! What an honour! Thank you for all that you have done for families living with anaphylaxis.

I had the pleasure of seeing you speak at the Allergy Expo last year in Toronto. I found your talk to be very inspiring, and my husband and I felt your talk gave us such a sense of hope. After seeing you speak, I went right out and bought a book that you recommended "Caring for Your Child with Severe Food Allergies" (by Lisa Cipriano Collins) and it helped us out tremendously.

So, thank you for all that you have done to help us and many other families.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:31 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Ontario
Congratulations Karen! Your dream to have support in place for every family outside the allergist's office is coming true, thanks to your efforts. You've made such a difference by equipping families with the tools they need to manage a scary new diagnosis.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 1:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I'd like to add my congratulations as well.

PS - I love that list--it's hilarious. Some of the points are quite insightful, too. I couldn't agree more with the point that someone who is nice to you but not to the waiter is not a nice person.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 1:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Way to go, Karen - thank you for all you do. :D :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 9:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Image

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 9:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks again guys. Hey Storm - maybe you should create a sticky in Website and online forum feedback about how to do those cool letters. :)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yvonne and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group