Holiday season is officially here, bringing with it endless opportunities for all kinds of celebrations and let’s face it, challenges, for those living with food allergies. In the last month alone, my second grader has had numerous “close calls” with impromptu treats served at school and beyond. It’s enough to turn me into Ebenezer Scrooge some days and wish for it all to go away. I’m sure there are many of you out there who know exactly what I’m mean. Some days it feels like a never ending battle that you will just never win, but I’m here to remind you there are always ways to try and find a little faith.
I did, most recently when I had the privilege to attend the AFAA Food Allergy Conference earlier this month in Minneapolis, MN. What a great lineup of optimistic speakers addressing real life topics and sharing exciting possibilities for food allergy sufferers in the very near future.
For example, Steve Rice from the Food Allergy Initiative announced that a comprehensive new training program for educators (developed in collaboration with FAAN ) is scheduled to be rolled out in 2011. Another great speaker with the Food and Drug Administration announced that an FDA-sponsored restaurant guide to food allergies (which has been years in the making) may also be implemented as soon as next year. And within five years, treatments like the Chinese Herbal Remedy now in 2nd phase trials may be available by prescription or possibly over the counter.
These major milestones in food allergy advocacy and research are most definitely cause for celebration, with the promise of many more advancements to come. So in those moments when you’re ready to say “Ba Humbug” to potential health scares caused by holiday cheer, remember that real progress is being made in big and small ways. And when it comes to my daughter's food allergies, any level of progress most definitely makes my days both merry and bright!