Food allergy dad Josh Ondatje is an accomplished athlete, competing in marathons, triathlons, and Iron Man races. He has used these competitions as a way to raise awareness about his daughter’s food allergies, and raise funds for FARE each step of the way. We asked Josh to tell us more about why he decided to get involved with FARE and the FARE Walk for Food Allergy in his area:
Tell us about yourself
I live in Boulder, CO and am a father to a gorgeous 4-year-old who is allergic to peanuts and pine nuts. I was also diagnosed with food protein-induced enterocolitis last year.
Why do you support FARE?
My daughter had a severe reaction to peanut butter around her first birthday and our lives were turned upside down. We learned a lot about food allergies through FARE and other great educational resources out there. At the end of 2013, we started SAFE of Boulder County, a local support group dedicated to educating and supporting allergic families as well as raising awareness about the severity of food allergies. Our goal is to educate the community about how to keep kids like my daughter safe! FARE has been great about supporting our local group and efforts at community outreach.
How are you fundraising for FARE?
Boulder, Colorado is considered the “Triathlon Mecca of the United States.” In order to raise awareness in my community, I started a campaign in 2014 called “Exercising for Evy: Increasing Awareness for Food Allergies One Step at a Time.” Every year, I am completing marathons, triathlons, and Iron Mans, and I ask local businesses, friends and family to donate anything they can to FARE before my races. At the end of each race, I send a picture of me in a silly pose to everyone who donated to my cause. Over the past two years, I have raised more than $2,500 in donations! If you wish to donate to “Exercising for Evy,” please follow this link to the Team FARE website and remember that 100 percent of all donations go to FARE: http://www.teamfare.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1085438&supid=415940229
Why do you walk in the FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Denver?
I walk for my daughter. She is the most amazing and brave 4-year-old. She wakes up every morning ready to conquer the world, dreaming of the day she can read and wanting a world in which she does not have to worry about eating something unsafe! While I am proud of my efforts with Exercising for Evy (I train most days of the week for a couple of hours a day), my daughter lives with her food allergies all day every day, and we need to do something to help find a cure for her food allergies! SAFE of Boulder County also fundraises for the local FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Denver, and we have raised another $2,000 for FARE over the past two years!
With the Team FARE website, similar fundraising tools and tactics are all available to add to your successful fundraising campaign. Join Team FARE by visiting teamFARE.org or contacting your regional office today. Join Team FARE today!
Join us at a FARE Walk for Food Allergy in your area by visiting www.foodallergywalk.org. These family-friendly fundraising events are a great way to meet other people managing food allergies in your community and get involved!