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Caroline of The Grateful Foodie

With the kids heading to school again, many of us are getting back into the swing of things and the routine it brings.  For me, it gives me more time to work.  While I don’t get paid for it, my advocacy work is just that.  It isn’t ever turned off, and I do work all year round, but this is when I have the time to hit it hard.

My advocacy work has been, first and foremost, about food allergies.  As you know, “the project” (as we call it here) of Light It Teal is part of my advocacy.  While most of our lightings happen in May, on June 1st we are back at it and planning for the next year.  As a shameless plug, remember to send us any suggestions you have so we can do the legwork and get those applications in.  I also attend meetings, conferences, educational events, and there are countless emails to representatives and phone calls galore throughout the year.

But I’m torn.  Food allergies are not the only issue we deal with in this house.  There is a whole list from asthma to autoimmune disease, Celiac being one.  I want to be out there shouting from the rooftops about testing before removal of gluten from one’s diet, and how asthma spikes in September, and so on, but then I feel I muddy the waters.  I don’t want to give people the idea that A and B and C are all related (though some are, many of the things we deal with are not).  I try and be clear, but I sometimes will make mention of other things.  We aren’t the only family and I am not the only advocate that deals with these things. The jumble of health management. I know many families like mine who have a list of specialists for multiple kids.  GI disease, autism, neurologic disease, endocrine issues, and on and on.

Margaret from MI Gluten Free Girl

I can’t speak for all of them, but I think many of us feel like highlighting one means we care less about the others, and that could not be further from the truth.  I would be willing to bet that most of us feel bad that we aren’t able to do more, raise more, and write more, for all of the things that touch our lives.  But I think those of us who have been at this know that we cannot do it all, or at least do it all and do it well.

So, this is my thank you to my fellow advocates for the issues we manage that I don’t have the expertise in.  I thank you for taking up my fight while I work on this one.  I thank you all so much for educating me and your calls to action when the big stuff happens.  While I may not always agree with how you do things or say things, I thank you for having the knowledge to do and say things and react in ways I may not understand because my focus is somewhere else.  Also, I am going to try and ease up on myself because man, you are doing great and I need to trust you.  I also want to put myself out there – if you see me making a misstep, please call me out on it (privately would be nice) because just as I may not understand all in your world, I may have some background that would help you understand why I’m saying/doing what I am.  Or I may just be wrong, and you can help me see the error of my ways.

Aleasa Word from Compassion for Anaphylaxis and Kristin Osborne from The Prioritized Group

I appreciate you and your advocacy work, and hope you know you are a rock star to me.

Take  minute to reach out to an advocate that you admire and let them know that you support them and appreciate the work they do. Let them know you see what they do. They don’t ask for a pat on the back but they sure do deserve one.

Caroline and The Allergy Law Projects Laurel

The Allergy Chef and Colleen from Zego

TAGS: advocate, allergies, anaphylaxis, food allergies, Food Allergies Conference