Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Annual walk a reminder of kind gestures

Pamela and Joseph at the 2014 walk
in New Rochelle, N.Y.
The arrival of a package is usually greeted with excitement. Is it something fun, a new outfit, or one of our favorite allergy-friendly products? My favorite packages represent kind gestures, such as a letter, funny item or gift from a great friend or family member. Those packages bring an instant smile no matter what is in the box because they let us know that the person who we likely haven’t seen in a while and miss terribly, is thinking of us.

My sister Linda during the walk this year
in Indianapolis.
We recently received such a package from my sister Linda. The box was full of coupons for allergy-friendly brands, a FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) Walk T-shirt, snack samples and a gift card to fuel my caffeine obsession. The package was a tangible representation of my sister’s support for my family as we navigate life with food allergies. She sent the items after recently participating in the FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Indianapolis in honor of my 12-year-old son Joseph, who has multiple food allergies and asthma. While she started attending the walks with us when we all lived near each other in North Carolina, she has made a point to attend the Indianapolis walk since moving to Indiana.

My dad and Linda with
Stormy, the Carolina Hurricanes mascot
at the walk in Cary, N.C., in 2009
We are so grateful for the support we have received from Linda, other family members, and friends through the years for our team “Nuttin’ We Can’t Overcome”, whether they have walked with us, made a donation, or sent well wishes as we take our annual walk to raise money for food allergy research. The support for our participa
tion in the annual event is one of many ways others have shown us consideration and kindness.

My sister Beth and Joseph
during a rainy walk in Cary in 2012
During a recent discussion with my children about kindness, we listed the many ways our friends, family, colleagues, and community members have exhibited kindness regarding Joseph’s food allergies. They include ensuring only safe food is served at an event; washing hands without complaint after eating unsafe foods while hanging out with Joseph; taking the time to find a non-food treat or prize that Joseph would appreciate, especially on candy-heavy holidays like Easter or Halloween; learning how to administer his life-saving epinephrine; being cautious about safety measures we have in place in our home or at a restaurant; or even just taking a minute to listen.
Our family bundled up for a cold walk in Cary in 2011.

When we walk along the water during the Westchester FARE Walk for Food Allergy on October 10, I will be reflecting on those many kind gestures. Like the package my sister sent, they all will make me smile.

1 comment:

  1. Family members walking at out of town FARE Walks in your honor? Wow! That kind of love and encouragement is very touching. You are so blessed to have such strong support from your extended family. What a difference that makes in navigating life with food allergies.