A New Blog for Young Adults with Allergies

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Anaphylaxis Canada is happy to announce their newest blog for allergic adults located at http://www.adultswithallergies.com.

The blog covers situations that allergic adults can appreciate such as food allergies and relationships, allergies in the workplace, alcohol ingredient labelling, international travel, and lifestyle articles such as food allergies and pop culture.

The Adults with Allergies blog is funded by a grant from TD Securities. Anaphylaxis Canada is appreciative of their support of our youth program and the opportunity to create resources for teens and young adults.

The blog, hosted on WordPress, allows users to follow/subscribe to the blog. If you are an allergic adult and interested in joining the writing team, please get in touch with Anaphylaxis Canada at http://www.adultswithallergies.com/contact.

Read more about the new blog at http://www.anaphylaxis.ca/en/media/hot_topics.html?news_id=72

“Allergic Girl” Book Review

I have been busy reading my latest find: “Allergic Girl – adventures in living well with food allergies” by Sloane Miller. This book came out a little while ago, and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since!

Basically, the book is designed to do as it says: help YOU, the allergic person, live life to the fullest with allergies. Sloane is an “allergic girl,” and has been since she was little. She’s an Oxford grad and currently lives the life of a New York socialite. More importantly, she has a hugely popular allergy blog (Please Don’t Pass the Nuts – allergicgirl.blogspot.com) and she is a personal food allergy coach.

As I read the book, I began to realize that for some people, allergies can be really difficult to manage, especially if they’ve been diagnosed later in life. Because I’ve always had allergies, managing them seems a normal part of life; for many, it’s not so simple.

Sloane starts by encouraging the reader to form a “Team You.” This team is composed of individuals who can help manage your allergies: doctors, allergist, parents, “safe” friends (friends who understand your allergies), partners, etc. From there, she builds on how YOU, new allergic girl/boy, can live a wonderful, safe life. Basically, it’s a self-help book, but it’s also well written and a helpful read even if you feel you’ve got your allergy management under control.

I think this book would really benefit someone who is newly diagnosed with food allergies. I was very impressed with how diligent Sloane is in managing her allergies – she calls EVERY restaurant before a meal, whether it be a staff meal, a private function, or just a fun get together. She’s always prepared. At the same time, she’s down-to-earth about allergies. She admits that she’s made some errors in her allergic life (haven’t we all!). With her help, you’ll gain some great tips for managing your allergies at restaurants, in love, with friends, during celebrations, while travelling, and more unpredictable situations.

One thing I noticed is that Benadryl is referenced a few times as an allergy medicine. It’s important to remember that Benadryl is NOT enough to stop an anaphylactic reaction. The most effective and safest treatment of a suspected allergic reaction is to administer your auto-injector (EpiPen or Allerject), and call 911 immediately.

Overall, “Allergic Girl” is a solid read. If you have had your allergies for a long time, it may not always be relevant, but it definitely reassuring for those who feel their allergy management skills are a little off. Read it and let me know what you think!

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