In 2014, it started with the idea of having a local building lit in teal, for Food Allergy Awareness. There was such a positive response from the food allergy community, and there is such a need for awareness that we are now on a mission to expand this throughout the country by lighting up buildings, bridges, and attractions in teal everywhere.
Food allergies touch the lives of 15 million Americans and 2.5 million Canadians, including one in 13 school-age children in both countries, and these numbers are rising. There is no cure for food allergies. Bringing awareness to this growing public health issue is one way to help those who manage allergies daily, with every bite of food they take.
Light it Teal’s mission is to light as many sites as possible during Food Allergy Awareness Month, many during the week of May 13-19 this year. We want more people to become educated about food allergies, their daily impact on people, and how they can help those with allergies, perhaps some day helping to find a cure.
Stephanie Lowe, food allergy advocate, and community thought leader, is a mother to three children, the oldest of which has multiple food allergies, FPIES, asthma, Celiac disease as well as all three managing environmental allergies. She is the founder of Light It Teal, a global project committed to raising food allergy awareness by lighting buildings, monuments and bridges, predominately during Food Allergy Awareness Week. The tremendous response to Light It Teal has sparked a trend that she hopes to see continued.
She has been a community host for local and national food allergy forums and a support group co-leader. She has advocated locally and nationally, taking her all the way to Washington, D.C. She has been instrumental in helping many families tackle those first months after diagnosis, school issues, and general allergy management. Managing life-threatening allergies to eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts as well as gluten-free due to Celiac disease and banana (FPIES)-and a host of others that have thankfully been outgrown, she has also developed recipes and cooking classes for Top 8 Allergy Free cooking.
Stephanie Lowe is a life-long resident of the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area. She holds Associates of Applied Science in Surgical Technology. In her free time, she enjoys exploring local parks and hiking spots with her husband and children, reading, and crafting.