Las Vegas, Nov 2013
Walking in to the Food Allergy Blogger’s Conference was like coming home to a family I had never met, but to whom I clearly belonged. After feeling so isolated for so long, it was an incredible sensation to be in the midst of a community that understands first-hand the issues that I deal with day-to-day caring for a child who has life-threatening food allergies. I knew that every person there could relate to my experience and struggles, and I to theirs.
I was honored to meet many heroes and heroines in the food allergy world. Senator Debbie Smith, who brought in laws to stock epinephrine in Nevada schools (the epi-pens have already been used 6 times!), Dr Eric Edwards, the co-inventor of Auvi-Q, Michael Pistiner of AllergyHome and author of NoBiggieBunch, the amazing duo – Jenny Sprague and Homa Woodrum – the visionaries and creators of FABlogcon, Joel Warady of Enjoy Life Foods, Alisa Fleming of GoDairyFree and editor of Allergic Living, Tess the Healthy Blender Girl, Tiffany of Food Allergy Fun and my personal heroine, Jessica Martin, the food allergy sleuth. (And I could go on and on – I had to take out names to not overwhelm this paragraph!)
Mightier blogger’s than I have written beautiful summaries of the conference content for those who would like to know more.
My favorite sessions were these:
Social media guru Ritesh Patel helped us discover more social media applications than we ever dreamed possible, Collette Martin taught us about food photography (oh please, let it stick in my head!), and Henry Ehrlich, the co-author of Asthma, Allergies, Children, Susan Weissman, author of Feeding Eden, and April Runyan, co-author of Gordy and the Magic Diet gave us a bird’s eye view into the world of publishing. Henry Ehrlich later spoke of his upcoming book on Dr. Xiu-Min Li’s work, which reaffirmed my faith in what I am doing.
The conference also triggered some personal reflections for me, but more on that in my next blog. All in all a fantastically successful conference, and a milestone for the food allergy world. The only thing I would have wanted less of was – jet lag!
P.S. I have to give a special “thank you” to Punky Mama for honoring me by joining me on a birthday-related LEGO mission, and by having me share her free dinner for two win at Don Vito’s – earned because she was the second highest fundraiser for our team in the FARE walk.