Food allergy moms and dads are often compared to superheroes: constantly on guard, protecting their kids and sometimes saving the day or even a life. But they’re also human, and can make mistakes. A mistake that David Serle made with his daughter Emma inspired him to start a project that is not only raising funds for FARE, but is also helping him to grow closer to his daughter and inspiring others.
It started one day while David was trying to help Emma become more independent and make breakfast for herself. In his haste, he pulled the wrong box of waffles from the freezer. The waffles contained wheat and egg, both of which Emma is allergic. David’s wife took Emma to the hospital to treat her reaction, and luckily Emma recovered, but David was devastated by his error.
As a way to apologize and show Emma through his actions that he was sorry, David decided to take on a challenge: to “Eat Like Emma” for 10 weeks. For every week that he avoids gluten, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and shellfish, he will donate $5 to FARE.
Even more remarkable, David has recruited others to “Eat Like Emma.” Seven weeks after starting the challenge, 25 people have taken a pledge to change their diet along with him. We asked David to tell us more about his idea:
What is your connection to food allergies?
My 8-year-old daughter is allergic to wheat/gluten, egg, all nuts, sesame and shellfish.
Tell us about your fundraiser. How did you think of the idea?
Mostly from guilt. I felt horrible and instead of just saying sorry, I wanted to make sure this never happened again. I wanted to say sorry through action, not just words. So I came up with the idea to make a Facebook page and challenge myself, as well as others, to try to eat like Emma for one week.
How can others get involved?
They can share their stories on www.eatlikeemma.com or they may challenge themselves to eat like Emma for one week.
Why did you decide to get involved with FARE in particular?
I do the FARE Walk for Food Allergy every year in Miami and I really love the resources and education that FARE provides.
What’s been the best part about running this event/fundraiser?
Bringing awareness to people who would not otherwise know how serious food allergies can be. By educating and bringing awareness to food allergies, maybe the bullying and the rolling of eyes will stop when ordering at restaurants and asking for ingredients. Food allergies are not a choice.
Thank you to David and his supporters for their success thus far. If you’d like to “Eat Like Emma,” please visit www.eatlikeemma.com or contact your regional office for more information on how to set up a campaign of your own!