We're All in This Together
I’ve spent many years as an advocate in the health care arena and I’ve come away with two key lessons.
1) If you want a cure - be a part of making it happen. Use your voice in every way you can. Advocate with your medical team. Advocate with your elected officials. Reach out to media. Tell your story. Fundraise.
2) It truly takes a village. If we’re going to create a better tomorrow for people impacted by a major diagnosis, it has to be all hands on deck.
I deeply believe in these two truths. And I love to support others who are chasing their own versions of fundraising and advocacy. It’s not easy to put yourself out there - and those who do should be supported and celebrated!
So when Michelle Isban reached out to me about a food allergy fundraiser she was doing, I wanted to find some ways to help. In addition to donating a book and virtual author visit to her event, I’ve interviewed her for this blog and I’m excited to share with you a little bit more about what she is up to! Please read on to learn how you can support efforts to end food allergies.
1) Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your connection to food allergies: My name is Michelle and I am very connected as my daughter and I both have food allergies. We strive to make our daughter’s life as typical as possible, but it is hard as our culture is almost entirely surrounded by food whether it is school celebrations, birthday parties, cultural celebrations, etc. It is very hard when every time your child gets hives, a cough or a runny nose, or a stomachache you wonder if it’s something they either ingested or came into contact with.
2) Tell us about your event! What kinds of fun will be happening on the big day? Shoot for the Cure and Family Fun Day to End Food Allergies is going to be an amazing day filled with basketball activities for children of all ages and ability levels run by professional basketball players, inflatables, arts and crafts, DJ, dancing, prizes, and more.
3) Why is raising money for food allergy awareness and research important to you personally? My daughter is anaphylactic to eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and shellfish. That means every bite of food that goes into her mouth could mean life or death for her. We want to find a cure for food allergies so we can help her live a full and safe life without having to think about every bite of food.
4) Tell us a little bit more about End Allergies Together. What makes the organization special? EAT was started by two families who were both affected by food allergies. It was launched in May 2015 with one urgent goal in order to accelerate treatments and cures for the growing food allergy epidemic.
To date, EAT has donated over $1.7MM to food allergy research. They underwrite the administrative expenses so over 90 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to those working on a cure for food allergies. They have an independent medical advisory board and an excellent grant process.
In addition to the work they are doing to fund research, EAT has also worked with BBDO NY to create two PSAs; “Could You EAT?” with celebrity chef Ming Tsai to create a better understanding and awareness of what it is like to live with food allergies and “Give and Go” with Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis to help people understand that immediate epinephrine use is the only effective treatment for anaphylaxis.
5) What do you hope people learn or experience by attending your event? I hope to spread awareness that food allergies are real. We will have an allergist attending the event to answer questions, as well as many other advocates and resources available in addition to fun activities. We want to bring families together to have a great day, raise funds to go towards food allergy research in order to end this epidemic and give families the resources and support they need until there is a cure.
6) Putting together an event is a big deal and takes a lot of willing hands. What kind of help can people offer leading up to Shoot for a Cure to End Food Allergies? Are there volunteer opportunities to fill on the day of the event? We would love for people to spread the word through social media outlets and to start fundraising https://eat.rallybound.org/shootforacure We are continuing to look for volunteers for the day of the event and all who are interested should email and put Shoot for a Cure to End Food Allergies as the subject to: firstname.lastname@example.org
7) What are your best fund raising tips for participants? Spread the word and use all of the social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) that are available. Reach out to big companies in hopes that they will donate for a cause that affects more than 50 million Americans. Email your fundraising page to your friends and family member.
8) As of publishing of this blog, you’ve raised about $15,600.. That’s AMAZING! What’s your fundraising goal by the day of the event? MY fundraising goal is to raise enough money to be able to find a cure.
Thanks Michelle! We wish you the best on this incredible undertaking! Please be sure to visit https://eat.rallybound.org/shootforacure to sign up to participate and/or donate.