Walk to support food allergy research
N.C. FACES, a local support group for families with children with allergies, is planning a two-miles walk this month to raise money for research.Posted — Updated
A small group began meeting for informal playdates. It was a place where their kids weren't the only ones with food allergies, a place where everybody understood what the others were going through.
"It's been a huge group effort through the years," says Trish Gavankar, an N.C. FACES cofounder whose daughter Marysa has multiple food allergies. She tells me many people have helped to make the group what it is today.
The walk starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 23 at Bond Park, 801 High House Rd. in Cary.
Gavankar and N.C. FACES member and walk chairwoman Jennifer Pickus, whose son has peanut and tree nut allergies, said that an initial allergy diagnosis can be jarring. Gavankar remembers walking the aisles of Whole Foods in tears searching for something her daughter could eat.
"When it happens, you do get this sense of isolation because you don't know what to do next," she tells me.
That's where N.C. FACES has come in. The moms tell me they've been able to get the support and information they need. And their kids realize they are far from alone in dealing with food allergies. According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, about one in 25 Americans has food allergies.
The walk is "great for the kids," Pickus said. "It's great for them to be in that community of food allergy supporters."