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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi all -

Just before Christmas, the Barrhaven Independent newspaper (in the Ottawa region) published an editorial about how food allergies were being dealt with in one specific school. The allergy in question was dairy. The school has removed the milk program and pizza days in order to reduce the risk to dairy-allergic students, and it's upset some parents.

In his editorial, the editor expressed his frustration at his wife not being able to send in home-made products and his not being able to get straight answers to his questions from the school board and Ministry of Health.

He also quoted one anonymous mother as saying "They've made everyone else worry about milk allergies except the student with the allergy. He doesn't have to change his life but every other kid in his class does". (The editorial neglected to mention that there are actually 5 kindergartners with a dairy allergy in that school alone....)

It wasn't a horrible editorial, and I do sympathize with the man's frustation, but I was really perturbed by the anonymous statement, along with the fact that there was NO mention of Sabrina's Law. And when I spoke with the editor to ask him if he'd heard of Sabrina's Law, he said, "Well... kinda..." So we had a good conversation, and he said that he could give me a guest column to provide some rebuttal. That seemed fair.

(In the week following the original article, there was an letter to the editor supporting the "allergic kid doesn't have to change his life" argument. So I felt really motivated to write that column, holidays or no!)

My guest column appears in this week's paper, and you can read it online at http://www.barrhavenindependent.on.ca/page1.pdf and http://www.barrhavenindependent.on.ca/page7.pdf .

There are some excellent letters to the editor on page 7 as well.

If you'd like the original article and letter to the editor in question, just let me know and I'll send them to you. Because of copyright I don't think it would be appropriate to post them here, and they are no longer available online.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Ontario
WOW Karen! Kuddos to you. I thought that was a very powerful article.

J

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4ye old DD allergic to sesame, peanut, raw egg , and mulitple environmental & seasonal allergies

2 yr old DS -no known allergies!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Excellent rebuttal, Karen!!!

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


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:26 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Toronto
Way to go Karen!!! I had the lump in the throat and tears in my eyes!!! Thank you for a brilliantly written letter for those who just don't get it!!

Ang

_________________
6 1/2 year old son - anaphylactic to tree nuts, allergic to dust and moulds
5 1/2 year old son - no allergies
15 month old son...allergies unknown


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Fantastic article Karen! You've done all parents and kids with food allergies such a service. You have such a way with words! I had tears in my eyes as I read. I felt each word you wrote about your little guy. I'd love copies of the articles (if you can find the time to send them).


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:25 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Orleans, Ontario
Thanks Karen for your continued devotion to championing the Anaphylaxis cause. You do it wonderfully. We are lucky to have you in our camp!!

Denise

_________________
Oldest son 9: allergic to fish and shellfish, pollens, pets, mould and dustmites
Youngest son, 5: allergic to peanuts, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, kiwi, asthma, pollens, pets, mould and dustmites


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:09 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2950
Location: Toronto
Karen, beautifully done: a poignant, powerful article.

That should almost be a slogan for our community of parents - "they are children, they cannot do it alone."

I think what makes this article really touch a chord is your tone. You're so reasoned and rational. By simply stating the facts of little Epi-Man Jr.'s daily life, your words speak much louder than anger.

We talk a lot about education and awareness - sometimes they seem like bland, undefined terms. I think you just defined them both.

Bravo, writer mom!

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 688
Location: Cobourg, ON
Karen, Your response is so well written. Thank you so much for all of your work. I would really like a copy also if possible.
Kate

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That's a great letter, Karen. Epiman and Epiman Jr. are fortunate to have a mom who fights allergy battles on their behalf with such grace :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
I agree with everyone else...you are one powerful Mom! Thank you for taking the time (at Christmas, yet :lol: ) so that others can begin to understand what our kids go through. I am sure you made a lot of people rethink their ideas.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Karen, that was excellent, and the other letters were also great testimonies.

Has the editor or his wife change their point of view? I hope they did, as well as that anonymous mother.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
First - thanks everyone for your kind words. It means a lot to me. It's so funny - when I was a kid I HATED writing. And here I am, doing it for a living -- and in my spare time for a cause I really believe in.

I will send a copy of the writings to those who requested it.

I am pleased that the editor offered me the guest column and that others wrote in. I kind of like to think that my talking to him at length calmly and not angrily got me that column. We will never really know if we changed any minds, but I hope so. At least I hope we helped them understand why we have to ask others for help in keeping our kids safe.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:26 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2950
Location: Toronto
FYI, Karen gave me permission to post her excellent column on the site.

This makes it easy to print a copy - or to direct others to it.

The column is the last entry on the Sabrina's Law page (accessed from our homepage). Or just go directly to the text here:

http://www.allergicliving.com/feature.asp?feature=41

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:52 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Ottawa
Another article in the Barrhaven Independant. This time, according to the article, a parent of a non-allergic child wishes to form a allergy advisory committee and was shot down.
http://www.barrhavenindependent.on.ca/page2.pdf
I don't like the tone of the article.
The reporter doesn't get the education aspect. He reports the trustees don't feel there is an issue (where has she been for the past year?) and that the parents of children with food allergies just want bans with no thought toward educating the other parents.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Thanks for the link, Susan.

Quote:
A recent issue of the Barrhaven Independent carried a number of letters to the editor that were vehemently opposed to parents who asked for an explanation as to why certain foods were discouraged.


I didn't read that in any of the letters. In fact, the letters were written to raise awareness and provide an explanation. Did I miss something?

I tried to go back and read the letters but the links that Karen provided no longer work (the newspaper just updates the contents every week) and I can't find the info in the links mentioned in Gwen's posts.

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


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