New Anaphylaxis Smartphone App for Youth

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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 www.anaphylaxis.ca.

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For more information please contact:

Christopher Holcroft
Empower Consulting, for Anaphylaxis Canada
416-996-0767
Christopherholcroft@hotmail.ca

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Celebrities with Allergies – if they can deal with them, so can you!

My name is Hannah, and I’m allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is rumoured to have had an allergic reaction

I’ve always found it interesting that celebrities (as perfect as they may seem) actually do have problems, and for some of them that includes dealing with allergies.  Luckily for us normal folk, having celebrities with allergies makes allergies seem a bit more cool and proves that allergies don’t have to stop you from doing what you want to do.

Take Jessica Simpson, for example. She is allergic to tomatoes, wheat, and milk – yet she was the celebrity spokesperson for Pizza Hut!  Perhaps that was not the best choice on her part – but just because you’re allergic to something doesn’t mean that you should be afraid of it. It is better to be careful than afraid.

Drew Brees throwing a football

Drew Brees has a gluten intolerance

Bill Clinton is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, Serena Williams is allergic to peanuts, Drew Barrymore is allergic to garlic and coffee, Drew Brees has gluten intolerance, and Justin Bieber is said to have had an allergic reaction to an undisclosed allergen. Tiger Woods is even allergic to pollen, but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the great outdoors! If those celebrities can live with allergies, then so can you!

The best thing to do if you have allergies is to avoid your allergen and always carry your auto-injector.  Celebrities might have someone who carries it for them, but most of us are not so lucky and must find a way to carry it ourselves.  You can put it in your purse, backpack, or jacket pocket – just make sure that wherever you put it, you always have it on you. Also make sure to check every food label and ask every restaurant about your allergens. Although it may seem like a pain, it’s worth it, and after a while, it just becomes habit. If there is every a point where you don’t feel comfortable eating – don’t!  Sometimes when I walk into a restaurant and I see peanuts on the floor or staff using the same scoops for different flavours of ice cream, I decide not to eat there after all.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods’ pollen allergy doesn’t keep him from enjoying the great outdoors!

Allergies are a serious thing, but they don’t have to control your life. As long as you’re careful and don’t take unnecessary risks (like eating foods labeled with “may contain”), chances are that you will be okay! Just remember that you are not alone, and there are  other people out there – famous or not – who understand what it’s like to live with allergies.