Walk to Raise Awareness for Food Allergies

in Featured Events

A group of motivated residents from the Westchester area are joining forces with the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) to partake in a walk on Saturday, October 13, 2012, aimed at building public awareness and raising money to help protect children with life-threatening food allergies.   The 3rd Annual FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in Westchester will take place on Saturday, October 13 in Glen Island Park on Pelham Road in New Rochelle, NY.  Registration, activities and giveaways will start at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. The FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in Westchester County is one of 45 walks scheduled this year.  Last year, the Westchester walk raised over $200,000 and became the #1 walk in the country.   Approximately 15 million Americans, including nearly 6 million children, have a food allergy, which is the leading cause of anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death) outside the hospital setting and results in more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits per year among children. Eight foods account for 90 percent of all allergic reactions in the U.S.:  dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds), wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. Approximately 780,000 residents in the state of New York have a food allergy and 176,000 children under 18 in New York have a food allergy.   This year’s Walk Youth Ambassador is Valley Cottage’s Caitlin Furey.  Caitlin is 8 years old and is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, chick peas and lentils.  Caitlin said that by participating in the walk she hopes “to provide information to people about food allergies and help work to find a cure.”   John Lehr, CEO of FAAN and Julie Puzzo, Sr. VP of Development of FAAN will be attending the Walk.  “Without these Walks and the network of volunteers who help make them possible, we could not support our mission. The funds that our walkers raise help us keep children with food allergies safe in school, enable us to advocate on Capitol Hill, and help scientists develop potential treatments for food allergy,” Lehr said.  Lee Goldberg, anchor of WABC’s Eyewitness News Accu-Weather coverage and father of a food allergic child, will serve as Honorary Chair of the FAAN Walk in Westchester.   Dr. Jennifer Kim will serve as Honorary Medical Chair.  Dr. Kim is a clinician and clinical researcher in the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. Her clinical research interests include the genetics of peanut allergy and novel treatments of cow’s milk allergy, including the dietary effect of extensively heated (baked) milk, as well as oral immunotherapy combined with humanized monoclonal anti-IgE antibody Xolair(R) (omalizumab).  Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, representative of the 67th Assembly District of New York, will receive an award at the Walk for being a leader and an advocate on food allergy related issues.  This year, Assemblymember Rosenthal introduced a bill which requires newly certified teachers in New York State become competent in the use of an epinephrine auto-injector through a free online course. The Walk will be fun for the family, and will include Z100 DJs, gaga, carnival games, jumpy castles, obstacle course, art projects, soccer, free giveaways from our sponsors, and more.  Registration is open to families, community groups, and anyone wishing to raise funds for food allergy education, advocacy, awareness and research. To register, donate or learn more about the Westchester Walk for Food Allergy, visit www.foodallergywalk.org/westchester_ny12.  For more information about FAAn visit www.foodallergy.org.