On Saturday, David got up before the the sun to cover the AFAA’s Food Allergy Awareness Walk 2012 at the Mall of America. We became aware of this organization due to our son, MacKean, having a recently discovered food allergy to tree nuts. Before MacKean, we knew little about food allergies. He and Lynnae were also supposed to be at this fun event but had to stay home with mom due to being sick.
Poor little guy.
But more about the AFAA and the event!
The Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AFAA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, advocate, and to support those with food allergies.
AFAA membership includes families, doctors, nurses, dieticians, teachers, and food personnel. With over 4,000 associate members, AFAA is the largest state-based food allergy support organization in the U.S.. AFAA encourages and mentors the development of support groups in local communities (Duluth, Brainerd, St. Cloud, Howard Lake, Waconia, Rochester, St. Paul) who meet AFAA’s medical criteria. AFAA is a volunteer-run organization: it has no paid staff members or paid board members.
AFAA’s motto is: Taking the Fear out of Food Allergies. Severe food allergy reactions annually result in about 200,000 emergency room visits and the death of 150-200 people in the U.S. About 8% of children are affected by food allergies, and 1-2% of adults. Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies. Nearly 55,000 Minnesota school children have food allergies — nearly double in ten years’ time.
Saturday’s event included many tables sharing information about allergy-friendly products as well as entertainment from local favorites, the Teddy Bear Band.
Fox 9’s Kelsey Soby was the Honorary Chair and a special appearance was made by the Saint’s mascot, Madonna! Royalty from many local communities were present for the event as well as Miss Minnesota International 2012, Krista Wanous, and Miss Teen Minnesota International 2012, Gabby Taylor.
Find out more about AFAA and food allergies at http://www.minnesotafoodallergy.org
AFAA is currently looking for volunteers. Upcoming needs are Food Allergy Conference planning and State Fair booth planning, and next year’s Walk. For more info about helping out this wonderful organization contact Nona by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A slideshow of 60+ photos from the event should be rotating automatically below. Just click the photos if you get impatient to advance them manually 🙂