For those looking for a super cool, food allergy role model for their kids or teenagers – look no further. Surely you’ve heard of Alex Tagliani aka TAG? He’s currently competing in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driving the Tagliani Autosport EpiPen #18 car. He’s an amazing driver and he is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. He has recently joined efforts with Anaphylaxis Canada to help spread allergy awareness in Canada via Summer of TAG, where Alex visited schools to teach kids about food allergies and how to stay safe. There were even contests for drawing an allergy themed helmet and race car design. How cool is that? Can you imagine your child’s drawing on a Nascar?
Jennifer with Alex Tagliani , driver of the #18 EpiPen Nascar.
The Tagliani Foundation held a Golf Classic benefiting Anaphylaxis Canada in September where I was able to volunteer. I spoke with Alex Tagliani about his food allergies- what it was like growing up with them and how he handles them now. He said his skin was really inflamed and irritated as a baby, but after allergy tests confirmed his peanut and tree nut allergies, his mother (who was nursing Alex at the time) eliminated those foods from her diet and the reaction ceased and his skin cleared up. Those allergies later developed into something much more serious and Alex has experienced multiple anaphylactic reactions over the years when he was less careful. He confided that Bronte Tagliani, his wife and Director of the Tagliani Foundation and mastermind behind the Golf Classic, has been instrumental in reminding him to always keep his epinephrine auto-injector with him.
Bill Patterson painting Alex Tagliani’s racing career.
One of the highlights of the day (besides helping Anaphylaxis Canada and meeting Alex and Bronte) was getting to see Bill Patterson do his thing – he performs live art. I witnessed this painting go from a plain white canvas to the Tagliani collection you see here. What was really fun is that all the golfers were asked to jump in and make their mark – a splash of color here, a shadow there. Bill and his painting was a big hit. Can you find the EpiPen logo on one of Alex’s cars depicted in the painting?
In the evening I sat down for a gala dinner with some fellow volunteers and friends and celebrated a very successful day of fundraising for Anaphylaxis Canada.
If you’re looking for more resources for older kids and teenagers with food allergies, then check out Anaphylaxis Canada’s Why Risk It site. It features information about food allergies in a way older kids can relate to. There is even a youth advisory panel for kids looking to get more involved in the food allergy community. And what makes it super cool is that Kyle Dine is the program coordinator. And who doesn’t love Kyle Dine?! He has this incredible way of being able to relate to kids of all ages about food allergies. But I digress – check out the Why Risk It site and empower your teenager to make safe food allergy choices.
Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to some awesome little guys that are big food allergy advocates: The No Biggie Bunch.
They may be cartoons, but they have food allergies, just like your kids. Most importantly, they have fun while staying safe. Your kids will relate to their stories like the Sports-Tastic Birthday Party, where having food allergies doesn’t mean staying home – quite the opposite! The No Biggie Bunch reinforces the idea that birthdays can be fun when you come prepared. Read more
It’s Eczema Awareness month in the US and the National Eczema Association is asking that you watch and share this video to show the world how difficult it is to live with eczema and itchy skin.
Want to do more to help spread awareness? Take a look at NEA’s list of THREE things you can do to take part in eczema education.
This is an incredible story from a mom, much like many of us, just didn’t know what else to do to help your son find eczema relief after years and years of trying everything. They end up at the Avène Hydrotherapy Center in France. Just what makes this center so interesting for those with skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, puritus, ichtyosis, scarring and burns? The water is rich in skin-soothing silica and bicarbonates and comes from springs deep underground where rainfall has been stored and circulated by a naturally occurring aquifier for 40-50 years. It’s healing properties are recognized by the French National Academy of Medicine. This clinical trial shows great improvement in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis patients after seeking treatment at the center for three weeks. Read more
by Debbie Adler (Bio below)
1) Nutritional Yeast – this may sound like something you need to get your RDA of rising dough, but it’s actually a yellow flakey powder that is rich with B vitamins and protein that can be used as a cheese substitute. I use it on top of popcorn, in salad dressing, on top of gluten-free pasta and in soups. It is free from sugar, dairy and gluten so it is a perfect allergy-friendly, healthful shelf-stable ingredient to keep in your cupboards. Read more
Since I was a young teenager, about once a year I’d get this build up in my hair that just wouldn’t wash out. It started in a very small patch next to my scalp and was very waxy. I’d wash and scrub it thinking it would go away, but when I got out of the shower and blew my hair dry, it would still be there! Obviously it was not a cleanliness issue – I was baffled – I just couldn’t understand it. This happened again very recently and it kept spreading with each wash with my usual, natural shampoo, getting worse every time. Next thing I knew, my entire head was a greasy mess. I was so embarrassed I had to wear a hat. When I was younger and wasn’t informed about the benefit of non-toxic skincare, I used a plethora of shampoos I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole now. But I still would develop this waxy buildup that wouldn’t wash out of showering. So, we can’t blame the natural products I use now for being less effective because I saw the same lack of results with the normal drug-store shampoos. Read more
By Tami Bronstein, BSc Phyt (Hons), MNIMH, AHG (Bio Below)
Relief; something we desperately seek when suffering. Skin, as the largest organ of the body, can be an all-consuming suffering when eczema is in the picture. As adults, we learn to distract ourselves from discomforts to some degree; children don’t understand, they simply succumb to the overwhelming and all-consuming frustration of not feeling well.
That said, regardless of age, eczema is deeply troubling for anyone who experiences it.
By Heather Mehra of the No Biggie Bunch (guest post – bio below)
As we’re now well through back-to-school and the temperature is dropping, I’m keeping warm by remembering great events of the summer. One I wanted to share with you was my tour of Camp W*K . Thanks to It’s an Itchy Little World, my introduction to Camp W*K came by way of my connection with food allergies as one of the authors of The No Biggie Bunch series of children’s books. You invited The No Biggie Bunch to participate in the Camp W*K giveaway contest last spring, and so I put a visit to the camp on the top of my summer Must Do list. Read more