My name is Daytona. I am allergic to peanuts.
I’ve had symptoms of food allergies since I was born. When I was 10 months old, a friend gave me a cookie to chew on. My lips began to swell, my ears turned fire engine red, my cheeks puffed up and my eyes bulged.
For my first ten years, my family lived in Kansas City. We had a network of family, friends, doctors and teachers who all kept me safe. When we moved in 2012, my family and I quickly realized that the awareness in our community wasn’t what we were used to. My mom contacted FARE and we found immediate friends and support. The website provided great resources, but it was the people on the other end of the phone when my mom called for help that made our family realize the importance of attending food allergy events whenever possible.
In 2015, my mom and I attended FARE’s Teen Summit together. I met so many people that I still keep in touch with who I can lean on and ask for help when I need it. Teen Summit taught me the power of community. I’ve learned how I can impact the food allergy community, too! I’m part of the FARE Teen Advisory Group and I have participated in the Chicago FARE Walk for Food Allergy. I love talking to other teens about the importance of learning about their food allergies.
My hope for the future is that there will be a supportive community for every kid with food allergies where kids and parents work together to make sure that everyone understands how to keep those with food allergies safe. I found my community with FARE and my hope is that with your support, others receive the resources they need from FARE, too. If that happens, the world would be a much better place for kids and adults living with food allergies. The future is waiting for us to change it, we just have to put in the effort to do so.
By giving to FARE, you can redefine the future of food allergies like Daytona. Give at foodallergy.org/donate today!