New Anaphylaxis Smartphone App for Youth


App Savvy Youth Makes a Difference for Teens with Food Allergies

TORONTO, ON – August 8, 2013 – Like most computer science students, Nick Pothier sees the opportunities that smartphone apps can create for young developers. However, this 19 year-old University of New Brunswick student has channeled his knowledge of app making for good – not profit. Nick has had life-threatening food allergies his entire life and wanted to use his knowledge to create an app that would help pre-teens, teens and young adults learn more about serious food allergies.

Title Screen WhyRiskIt? App

The “WhyRiskIt?” food allergy education app was created by Nick over the course of four months in partnership with Anaphylaxis Canada – a national non-profit organization dedicated to education and advocacy for those at risk for anaphylaxis.  It is a free app that is currently only available for the Android operating system. It features life saving information that should be on the fingertips of every allergic youth such as signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, treatment and emergency procedures.

Nick’s hope is that the app will provide easy to access information for teens with allergies so that they can be safer and take fewer risks with their allergies. “I believe this app will be very effective for educating teens about allergies since more and more are owning cell phones and tablets which go everywhere with them.”

The app also features a live stream from the WhyRiskIt? blog which features stories, tips and advice from other allergic youth on Anaphylaxis Canada’s Youth Advisory Panel.

Nick Pothier - App Developer

Nick Pothier – App Developer

Anaphylaxis Canada recently awarded Nick with the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award for his efforts raising awareness for youth with food allergies including class projects and even a food allergy video game. The annual award recognizes post-secondary students who have made a difference in raising allergy awareness in their communities.

Kyle Dine, Anaphylaxis Canada’s youth project coordinator, is proud of Nick and his efforts. “It’s incredible the amount of time he put into this app, as well as our Youth Advisory Panel who reviewed it every step of the way,” said Dine. “This is truly an app made by allergic youth, for allergic youth.”

The WhyRiskIt? App is available for download in the Google Play store by searching “WhyRiskIt?” or “Anaphylaxis Canada”. Nick looks forward to working on making the app available on iPhones soon.

About Anaphylaxis Canada
Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping those at risk for anaphylaxis and those who care for them. The organization is committed to creating a safer world for people with life-threatening allergies through education, advocacy, and research. For more information, visit


For more information please contact:

Christopher Holcroft
Empower Consulting, for Anaphylaxis Canada

Don’t call me Gaga

Hey Allergy Blog supporters!

My name is Dylan, and I have been allergic to peanuts and tree nuts since I was nine years old. I have been involved with YAP since 2005 and currently hold the position of Lead Representative for the Fundraising and Special Events Committee.

Lady Gaga with vampire teeth

“Don’t call me Gaga”

Two weeks ago, we hosted our first YAP social of the year with a trip to the Richmond Hill Laser Quest. There were a few people in the group who had never done laser tag before and were very excited to try it, and there were a few others who hadn’t played in years.

We played two games in total, and for each game we were allowed to choose special code names to make ourselves known to our “foes.” For ou first game, I asked for a random name and was given the very strong, bold, and manly name of … Lady Gaga. I wasn’t impressed, but since I am competitive and love laser tag, I tried my best and finished in 4th place behind three people from another group. The rest of our YAP players were scattered throughout the rankings with hilarious and brave stories to tell.

Shakira singing on stage

“No fighting, No fighting, Shakira, Shakira”

My own story wasn’t brave so much as lucky: I sat in one spot on the upper level near a ramp and tagged anyone who passed by. I had a grudging battle with a man by the codename of Smudge, who kept shooting me from across the room before I could get him! I took matters into my own hands and crept up behind him to catch him unaware. After I tagged him, he laughed and said, “Nice shot,” before tagging me right back. Go figure!

We re-fueled on juice, water, and snacks, and for the second game, I was given another valiant and heroic name! Okay fine, it wasn’t either of those. For some reason, the Laser Quest staff must have thought that I loved female pop stars, because they named me Shakira. Better than Lady Gaga, but I would have preferred Legolas or Gandalf, because Lord of the Rings is the best thing that has ever happened…EVER.

Gandalf hanging out in the Shire

“Prepare for battle!”

In the second game, I was ousted by one of my fellow YAP members, who went by the code name Jazzyhands! I was also beat out by a few other YAP members and finished in the middle of the rankings.

All in all, we had a blast, shared some laughs, and enjoyed shooting lasers at each other! There will definitely be more awesome social events to come and who knows – maybe YOU will be part of one of them! Learn more about YAP and apply to become a member at

You stay classy!


Welcome to the WhyRiskIt? Teen Allergy Blog!


I’d like to officially welcome you to the newest resource from  The Teen Allergy Blog.

Anaphylaxis Canada's Youth Advisory PanelAll of our resources are created by a team of allergic youth called the “Youth Advisory Panel” or YAP. This group works with Anaphylaxis Canada to provide awesome tools to help educate other teens and young adults at risk for anaphylaxis. Some of these “cool tools” include:

Every week our YAP contributors will be providing our readers with their stories, experiences, and knowledge onhow to balance allergies with a normal teenage life.

We look forward to hearing your comments, feedback and story ideas. If you are interested in becoming a contributor to this blog, please consider joining YAP by downloading our application form.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the blog!

Anaphylaxis Canada