Multiple Food Allergies and Prom…It Can Be Done

Another milestone accomplished with multiple food allergies.

My eldest son, Michael, with food allergies to dairy, eggs, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, sesame, mustard and raspberries…just had his 2014 Prom Night!

All I can say is…it can be done!

Of course, just like all his classmates…picking out just the right outfit is key.  Michael and I enjoyed our time out with him trying on suits, shirts and ties.

With a pale grey suit, white shirt and lavender tie picked out…it was on to the belt, socks (funky charcoal grey with purple polka dots) and shoes.

That is until he decided he would prefer a bow tie (Bluey purple houndstooth)…saving the lavender tie for graduation with, a yet to be picked out, jazzy kerchief for the pocket.

With the outfit picked out, the limo with about a dozen of his friends rented, it was time to think about the 2014 Prom Night meal…a buffet.

About a week before the event, I spoke to one of the teachers in charge of organizing the big event about the meal…beef, chicken, pasta with red sauce, Caesar salad, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and some sort of dessert.

No matter what was on the menu…with all of Michael’s food allergens…I knew that the chef would need to create a separate meal.

I called up the banquet facility hosting the event and spoke with the events coordinator.  She assured me that their facility had worked with patrons with food allergies.  Just email her a list of Michael’s food allergies and the chef would create a meal just for him.

Literally, it was that simple.

She emailed me back this menu:

Grilled chicken (salt and pepper seasoning)
Roasted red potatoes (salt, pepper, olive oil)
Seasonal vegetables (salt, pepper, olive oil)
Dessert we will offer fresh fruit plate no raspberries

Michael’s meal would be plated in the kitchen separately and when he was ready for his meal, he was to ask a server to bring it out…perfect!

On the day of the prom, I called the principal to inform her of Michael’s separate meal.  I also inquired about the staff attending the Prom to chaperone.  The principal assured me that she was going to review with each of them the administration of an Allerject…she noted she had the Allerject trainer sitting on her desk.

I had presented her with an Allerject trainer at the last School Council Meeting along with an EpiPen trainer and other information from the many exhibitors at Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Annual Community Conference I attended. Click here for the post.

The principal requested that Michael inform her of his table number and even gave me her cell phone number…just in case I felt the need to call…I am pleased to say, I didn’t.

Michael even told me a teacher, aware of his multiple food allergies, the week of the Prom, stopped him in the hallway to ask if everything was set for him at the Prom…very impressed!

With all the details in place…it was time for Michael to be dropped off at his friend’s house to catch a limo!

Yes…I hung around to take pictures of all the guys and gals in their finest.

No…I was not the only proud mother taking pictures of this stellar crowd of soon to be graduates!

Yes…attending one’s Prom with a list of multiple food allergies…priceless!

P.S.  Word of advice…a thank you goes a long way..

 

 

Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Annual Community Conference: Are You Going?

Did you know that today is the start of World Allergy Week…April 7-13 2014?

The World Allergy Organization’s focus this week is for people to join them in their mission to ” increase awareness of Anaphylaxis – When Allergies Can Be Severe And Fatal.”

Did you also know that May is Food Allergy Awareness Month?

Perfect timing…there is a School Council Meeting tomorrow night.

At the School Council Meeting, I am planning to speak about Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Community Conference at the Delta Hotel in Markham, Ontario on May 10th, 2014.  Click here for more information on this fantastic event.

I am so excited to be attending this year…my first time! Hard to believe, but for some reason or other, I have had previous engagements that have prevented me from attending…this year I am free!

Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Community Conference is a full day conference divided into half-day sessions. “Patients, families, educators, healthcare professionals and other members of the community interested in learning about food allergy and anaphylaxis management” are all welcome.

What a great opportunity!

The morning session will consist of workshops for parents (Partnering and Planning With Your School-An Interactive Workshop For Parents) and youth, ages 13-21 (Teens Talk Allergies).

The afternoon session is open to all members of the community.

Afternoon program will include:

– Anaphylaxis Canada Update, Beatrice Povolo, Anaphylaxis Canada
Food For Thought: A buffet of truths and myths about food allergy, Dr. Adelle Adkinson, MD, FRCP
– Anxiety Alert! Understanding Anxiety in Kids With Allergies, Dr. Suneeta Monga, MD, FRCPC
– When Food Is A Weapon-Food Allergy Bullying, Kyle Dine & Youth Advisory Panel Members
– Panel Discussion: When things go wrong with food labelling, Speakers TBD -Evaluation & Wrap Up, Laura Harada, Anaphylaxis Canada

Click here for more information regarding the afternoon session.

In the morning session, I am hoping to ask some questions about students with food allergies planning on a post-secondary education.

As my eldest son, Michael with food allergies to dairy, egg, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nut, sesame, mustard and raspberries is in the process of choosing one out of three universities to attend in the fall of 2014…I am looking for some guidance.

Questions:

1)  Tips on choosing a food allergy aware university.
2)   What type of residence is recommended for a student with multiple food allergies where cross-contamination in the cafeteria limits food options? (All students in residence must obtain a meal plan)
3)  Do universities pair students with food allergies together?
4)  Will a letter from an allergist influence the type of residence a student with food allergies is assigned?

Where else can you go to talk food allergies without those around you cringing, second guessing you and/or turning a deaf ear?

As they say, ‘raising a child takes a village’.  Attending a conference such as Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Annual Community Conference provides parents and youth with the tools to navigate and educate the ‘village’ in which we are raising our child/children with food allergies to be the best that they can be.

How awesome is that!

Are you going?

What questions will/would you ask?