Contest & Interviews & Spokespersonship, oh my!

March 10, 2006 at 6:02 am (social issues)

Don’t forget, you can win a free shirt this month from the Allergyware store just for sending in your comments (on the blog, via voicemail, or by email).  Read more about that here

This morning it occurs to me that I’ve sort of turned into a spokesperson for allergies. 

This month I have been interviewed twice about allergies.  Once for Connect For Kids (the story isn’t live yet, but look at how many articles they have done on allergies and asthma!) about HR 4063, and just yesterday for Business First.  The Business First article won’t be live for some time.  (I was thrilled to get that call–I am a total business geek and I love that paper.)
This year I was also interviewed by Bill Grady for the You Are The Guest show, which is one of my favorites.  That interview was less about allergies and more about the President (where my opinions are not quite so expert, I’m afraid), but there was one question thrown in there about food allergies. 

Since I started writing last year for clubmom.com as their Go-To Allergy Mom (which reminds me, I have a deadline in five days…!), and started this blog and podcast, I’ve been getting more and more exposure as an Allergy mom.  It’s true!  I *am* an allergy mom.  I *am* semi-articulate from time-to-time, given five minutes to focus.  I *am* passionate about keeping kids safe from allergies of all kinds, and aiding adults in understanding their own health. 

I didn’t set out to become a mouthpiece for allergy topics, but here I am.  The shoe fits, and I’m wearing it.
Why is this important?  Because, for me, it is not about selling tee shirts and tote bags.  It’s about making sure that other parents aren’t in the dark, like I was.  It’s about making sure that other parents don’t struggle with the issues of educating the people around the children, like I have. 

Frankly, my husband and I are intelligent people.  The people around us are, for the most part, intelligent people.   However, we were ignorant about allergies altogether until a few years ago.  Allergies were not an important part of our life (in our minds) until they affected us severely.  Now, allergies–from the mild reaction I have to milk, myself, to the ongoing battle with our environmental factors that my kids have, to the potentially life-threatening reactions that Sam has had–are of utmost importance.  How did that happen?  How did that change? 

Diagnosis.  Education.  And now…evangelization.  I hesitate to use that word because the word “evangel,” translating to “good news” is so charged with religious overtones.  It’s also a bit ironic, to think that educating others about allergies is “good news,” huh? 

Truthfully, though, I think being prepared to deal with something as life-altering as allergies really IS good news.  It’s the difference between facing the devil you know, rather than the devil you don’t.  (No damnation or judgment intended.)
Three+ years ago, I did not set out to become any sort of spokesperson for the Allergy Parent set.  Even at this stage, I am glad to refer to my fellow lay-educators in the field of allergies, as well as reputable doctors and wonderful national and international organizations.  It’s not about me, it’s not about making money, and it’s not about how better to enrich the college funds of three little Harmons or anything like that.  I don’t pretend to know it all, but I do know a lot about allergies and I know it pretty well.  So what to do with that knowledge?  If I don’t make an effort to share it, what’s the point?
I just want to make the world a better place for my kids, and I’m happy to be able to do that.  All the email and phone calls I’ve gotten through the years, all the shipments that have gone out all over the world–I know what I’m doing is making a difference, and you don’t have to buy anything from the store to support that mission.  It’s there if you need it, and if you don’t need it, then that’s okay, too.  Tell a friend. 

If I were a man, you could say I was “a man with a mission.”  It’s cliché and cheesy, sure, but it’s also true.  I don’t mind being cliché and cheesy if it means protecting the children I love more than anything else in the world, and helping you protect yours. 

I would love to hear your comments about this, so send one in via email, via my toll-free number, or below in the blog.  I’ll enter you in the drawing to win a free tee-shirt (any size: kids, infants, teens, adults), any design in my mind-bogglingly-large line of Allergy Alert Gear stuff. 

TGIF!  Have a great one! 

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