A note from Ria Sharon of Checkmytag.com, and note from me on what it’s like to be an allergymompreneur

May 9, 2007 at 5:58 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Blogroll, Canada, Contributors to the Podcast, education, gear, kids, labeling, newspapers, peanut, Products, social issues, USA, Websites)

Most of our friends and family are amazingly thoughtful and ask, “Is this safe?” before they give our little guy anything to eat. A few just give me the box so I can check the label. But almost all will admit their discomfort with making the call themselves, partly because they are not sure what to look for when they are reading packaged food labels.

Next week is Food Allergy Week so we are making extra efforts to promote food safety for our food-allergic friends and loved ones. The Spring issue of our bulletin, Be Aware. Be Safe. is devoted to taking the mystery out of the new labeling laws. Please help us raise awareness and understanding of food allergies, by passing this .pdf along to your friends, co-workers, educators, and childcare providers.

Also, visit our Community page, http://www.checkmytag.com/community.html beginning May 20th to read personal accounts from the blogosphere on how food allergies have changed the daily lives of a growing number of families.

Thanks for helping to keep kids safe,


Ria is a very warm and helpful individual.  Please check out her site!  It is not just about “selling shirts” for her.

Someone recently accused me of only doing this blog to direct people to my allergyware.com site.  She didn’t say it accusingly, but rather matter-of-fact.  As if.  😦  Why do I make the shirts?  Why did I do it in the first place?  Because allergies are a “growth industry?”  Because I was looking to make a quick buck?  C’mon.  My kid could DIE if he eats a peanut.  There were no shirts at all out there for sale except from England, when he tested positive for peanut.  What would YOU do?

Honestly, it is issues like the above that I am using this hiatus to think over.  I don’t want anyone to think that it is my desire or motivation to profit from my son’s life-threatening allergy.  The fact is, I’m not a millionaire who can set up a fund to research the cure.  I do not have the time to volunteer a lot and do a lot of political stuff, plus I do not have the temperament for it.

What I am is a writer with a degree in accounting.  I am a business person by training and a story-teller by birth.

I write this blog and I sell tee-shirts because I buy the tees myself.  My kid also wears shirts by other allergymompreneurs.  He took his first field trip today with his medicine in a bag from allergykids.com (thanks, Robyn).

If you are so cynical that you think for the past five years I have enjoyed some kind of status as Allergy Tee Shirt Emperor, then you are forgetting the heartbreak and daily stress and agony that go along with safe-guarding a child who is too young to speak for himself.

Pushing six years old, he is finally getting closer to being able to speak up for himself to people about his allergy.  He still can’t read, give himself his epinephrine shot, or measure out his own Benadryl.  He is dependent on any adult in his vicinity to notice if he develops hives, has trouble breathing, his eyes swell up, etc.

So I made him shirts.  When he was recently fed a nut-containing brownie at school, I sent him to school the next day in an allergy shirt, in addition to talking to his teachers about what happened.  You know what?  Call me materialistic & opportunistic and any other “istic” that you want, but I FELT BETTER knowing his shirt said this in big letters:


(this was him four years ago, nearly exactly!)

This is him today, in a Nut Free Zone hoodie:


I love this child.  He is not a model, a product spokesman, a clotheshorse, or a mannequin to hang shirts on.


If you think I’m doing this blog and doing my shirts for the money, or you wonder why I don’t do more: I am doing what I can, where I can, with what I can.

I love my children, all three of them, and I am doing my best.  This blog is filled with photos, links, articles, podcasts, recalls, news, you name it.  I am doing my best.  I doubt I will ever give up the blog, but for now I am not in the frame of mind to do videos or audio podcasts.  I probably will again.  I do not feel like I am “done,” you know?  But my time is sort of maxed out right now.

Now head on over to Ria’s site, or any of the awesome Allergy Mom (and Dad) sites listed in this blogroll.

Sorry for the tangent, but I think it deserves to be said: Allergy Moms who started Allergy businesses have their hearts in the right place. They should be commended, not distrusted!


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Disturbing new story

December 19, 2006 at 3:43 pm (Allergy News!, Australia, Contributors to the Podcast, education, kids, school, social issues, Websites)

courtesy Karen Blue:

Children already coping with life-threatening allergies face a new threat in the school playground – being bullied with foods that are potentially deadly.

Click here for the rest of the story.

I heard a story on This American Life about an American family that broke up over playground teasing and bullying, paired with harassment from a teacher.  Dad ended up moving out. The stress was too much.  They were Islamic and this was post-9/11.

Sometimes it is difficult to process how much pain and suffering human beings are capable of causing one another.  Why does one difference, or weakness, or human frailty elicit such base responses in others?

I do not get it.

I mean, I wasn’t brought up in the best home–even I don’t GET this.

It is not okay to play “kill the beast” on the playground.

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Sour Patch Kids are nut-free

December 16, 2006 at 7:20 pm (Contributors to the Podcast, kids, nut-free)

Thanks, Karen!

Read more here

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Podcast recommendation for book lovers

December 5, 2006 at 6:31 am (books, Contributors to the Podcast, social issues, Websites)

I know it’s a little off-topic here on the Allergy News blog, but not really…you’ll see why in a second!

Just wanted to recommend a literary podcast known as Authors In Your Pocket, and its little sister Bookclub in Your Pocket, from the warm and wonderful podcast team known as TriCom.  Wali Muhammad is a great host–professional without being phony or self-promoting.  The team behind Wali is knowledgeable, courteous, and very friendly, especially L. Peggy Hicks!  I just love the show, have been listening to it for a year…and this week they gave a shout-out to Allergy News!

Have a listen to their latest, an interview with Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), and subscribe to their show through iTunes!

Visit the TriCom website and enter their book giveaway, as well…but don’t forget the current contest going on here, okay?

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Gluten-free beer

December 1, 2006 at 5:55 pm (Allergy News!, Contributors to the Podcast, gluten-free, Products, social issues, Websites)

Courtesy of Karen Blue:

link to read all about it



I know Celiac’s disease is not the same as Wheat allergy, but it sure can make you feel like you are allergic to everything, over the long term.

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Canadian kids in need get Free Medic Alert bracelets

November 25, 2006 at 6:29 pm (Allergy News!, Contributors to the Podcast, Products, social issues, Websites)

(Thanks, Karen!)

Read more here

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Allergy News – Asthma, GMOs, Peanut Allergy, my EYE!

November 18, 2006 at 6:59 pm (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, asthma, Blog & Websites, Contests, Contributors to the Podcast, medical, Products, Science, social issues, Websites)

This episode’s topics:

full_mask_front.jpghalf_mask_stadium.jpgshield_front.jpg  Coming soon to allergyware.com!  BreathXchange masks!

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Lucky Me

November 17, 2006 at 12:39 pm (Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, books, Contributors to the Podcast, medical, Products, Science, social issues, Websites)

I finished my business in Illinois early and got to come home two days ahead of schedule…

However, that means I didn’t yet finish the upcoming podcast.  Don’t worry, though, it’s more than half-way done!

In the meantime, if you are looking for a good podcast, try the edition of Writers on Writing in which Christina Adams speaks about her memoir of early intervention into the case of her child’s autism.  There are connections between food and autism, and as I have wondered about aloud on my podcast and on this blog, there are medical connections between the allergic response we typically see to food, and the autistic response.

Hope you are having a terrific Friday! 

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Christmas cards, 2007 calendars

November 6, 2006 at 10:00 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, Blog & Websites, Contests, Contributors to the Podcast, holiday greetings, social issues)

Reposted to add: these are non-demoninational.  🙂

Recently, I ordered a big stash of cards, calendars, and magnets to send out to my allergy buddies.  The only problem is, I don’t have your addresses!

If you’d like to get a greeting in the mail from me this year, please email me your address to:


If you purchased something from allergyware.com (thank you!!!), I don’t have your address or even your email (unless you bought AllergyZone air filters).  cafepress keeps all the info quiet besides name and city.  I suppose I could stalk you through the internet, but save me the trouble and send me your addy, will ya?

Thanks for being out there, thanks for being a friend!

And in case I forgot to mention it, the latest giveaway contest is open to suggestions and tips not just from Halloween, but also from Thanksgiving.  I want to give some stuff away, people, I’ve only had six entries!  C’mon, drop me a line!

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Happy Halloween!!! Still time to enter the contest for AllergyKids giveaways!

October 31, 2006 at 5:15 pm (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!, Contests, Contributors to the Podcast)

Click here and learn how to win lots of free goodies!!!!!

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