Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brian Hom - Please Read the Transcript from the FAAN Fundraiser

Brian Hom II

I previously wrote about the Hon Family's tragedy in losing their son to anaphalyxis here. Brian Hom spoke at a local FAAn fundraiser and his words are heartbreaking and beautifully spoken.

The Peanut Free Mama has posted the entire transcript of his talk here.

It is a bit long, but I really recommend that you read through it. It is difficult for me to read, as it makes the terrible abstraction of what could happen to any of our children, into a horrific reality.

I again want to thank the Hom Family for sharing their story, and my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Peanuts for pumpkins

Since things have been kind of serious around here here lately, I thought it was time for some humor even if it was not directly related to peanuts. (I am sure it is somehow related to peanuts, after all everything is. At least it is in my obsessed little mind :) )
So in honor of Halloween, I have found some pumpkins that have made me ohhh, made me awww, and made me chuckle eeeewwwwww!!!! So here they are - pumpkin fun.

The Star Wars Death Star Pumpkin

A Hamburger Pumpkin
A Sick Pumpkin (Must have eaten the pumpkin hamburger)

Another Sick Pumpkin. (Just say no to a pumpkin hamburger)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Hom Family - Another Reminder of Heroism

On Sunday our local FAAN group held a "Strike out Food Allergies" Bowling fundraising event. I unfortunately was not able to attend, since I was chasing the shinning Tiffany Necklace at the Nike Women's Marathon, and learning a life lesson about true heroism. It was apparently a day about all sorts of heroes, as the fundraiser had a guest speaker, Brian Hom Sr. who spoke about losing his son to an anaphalytic reaction to peanuts.

I was not present, and did not hear Brian Hom Sr. speak in person, but his family's story touched me deeper then any other I have come upon to date. Perhaps it is because it is a family that is local to my area, or perhaps it is because friends of mine met him, spoke to him, and heard him speak.

Somehow, this makes real to me, what in some ways had previously been an abstraction. Sure Conor had a serious reaction a few years ago, and I know he could die from eating a peanut, but I think part of me likes to live in denial of what really could happen. If a real person in a local town was struck by this sort of tragedy, it could happen to anyone including us.

I want to say thank you to the Hom family for sharing their story. Their message, while devastating to deliver, will help save countless lives.

The past weekend has been a time where I have been surrounded by people who have reminded me that sometimes, life is frustrating, unfair, and unthinkably painful. But it has also been a time that has reminded me about the people who have faced these horrors, and moved forwards anyways, fighting an enemy bigger then they knew they could. Their strength and courage is what makes me understand what true heroes are.

Help Linda Coss Get on TV

One of my food allergy idols Linda Coss is now a great television personality. Check out my review of her really great television premier here. Now that she has taken the local airways by storm with witty insight such as my new mantra "It is not cool to eat it if it causes you to die" she is ready to take on the national scene.

Linda is asking everyone to help her meet Oprah, Rachel, and Martha, and anyone else who might benefit from an education of food allergy awareness to spread the word. I figure since she is an idol, I would pass along her request in her own words.

"Greater public awareness of the realities of life-threatening food allergies helps all of our children – and one of the best ways to reach the masses is through the most popular TV talk shows.

I’m writing today to ask for your help. I’d like to start a grass roots campaign to get a few of the big shows to invite me to come on as a guest to discuss life-threatening food allergies. As the author of 3 books on food allergies, including a cookbook that is still considered to be “brand new” (an important consideration in the publicity world), I believe I am just the sort of “expert” that TV shows like to have as a guest. Plus, now that I’ve had a successful appearance on local TV (you can view the video at, I’ve gotten over my fear of the camera!

I’m asking you, your readers, and anyone else you can get to participate to go online to the shows’ “suggest a topic” pages and recommend that the program does a segment on life-threatening food allergies, with Food Allergy Author Linda Coss as the guest expert. You can say something from your heart about why they should cover this topic, and then say something about why you’re recommending Linda Coss as the guest expert. Possibilities here include the facts that I’m the articulate author of 3 food allergy books, a former support group leader with over 13 years of experience, the parent of a college-age child with multiple life-threatening allergies, and one of the “pioneers” in the food allergy world.

Here are links to the first 3 shows I’m targeting:

§ Oprah:
§ Rachael Ray:
o Scroll down to the bottom to the “Anything Goes” section and then click on “Hey you…what’s on your mind?”
o Be sure to click on the “pass it on” button and give them my email,
§ Martha Stewart:
o Click on “Email Martha” on the left-hand side of the page

Of course, I’m open to suggestions for other shows that would be likely to present food allergies in a sympathetic light.

Thank you in advance for your help and support!

Best wishes,

Linda Coss
Plumtree Press
Books to Help Your Family Live with Food Allergies "

Monday, October 20, 2008

Maybe We Should Give Them a Tiffany Necklace

So, the evil illness has taken me down. We finally got Conor better, and I have been stricken by the monster bug. I have spent the last week hacking, blowing sniffling and aching, and of course complaining.

Despite my suffering, I felt the need to run in a race I had signed up for many months ago -

The Nike Women's Marathon.

I was only signed up to run the half marathon, but the sneezing, hacking, coughing and aching made me question (only momentarily) the intelligence of such an endeavor. There was no choice in the matter. I must do the race, and I must finish - at all costs. Why the steadfast determination you ask. Is it the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? Is it my iron clad will and never give up spirit? No, of course not, it is that all the finishers receive a Tiffany necklace.

I must get my Tiffany necklace!!!! I must!!! The race must go on at all costs.

My unrelenting need to do this race at all costs for a Tiffany necklace jeopardizing health and comfort made me think. Maybe if I had offered our former pre-school director Cruella a Tiffany necklace if she was able to keep my son safe for the school year, she would have made more of an effort to take some necessary precautions. Perhaps if we offered all the parents who feel their children must have peanut butter for lunch a special Tiffany necklace at the end of the school year if they could find a way to send in something other then peanut products with little Johnny they would figure out a way. Maybe handing out Tiffany necklaces would motivate all those ignorant people to learn about ways to help keep our children safe. Maybe....

I made my way up to San Francisco yesterday, and made my way through the race. The race is a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, and many of the runners were there to raise money and honor those with these cancers. Lots of runners had stories on the back of their shirts about those close to them who had battled or where battling the diseases. One woman who I was behind for much of the race had a picture of her 5 year old son on her back and I asked her about her son. Apparently he had passed away last year from Leukemia, and although she had never run before, she was doing the entire 26.2 miles in his honor and to raise money to help cure Leukemia. Another woman was running in honor of her 3 year old son who was battling cancer now. There were people paying homage to parents, brothers, children and friends. There were survivors, running to give hope to others who where not sure they were going to survive.

So, in the end, this race was not really about the Tiffany necklace after all. Instead it was a reminder to me that heroes come in all different shapes and sizes, and rarely do they actually wear a cape. (although one woman did :)) I made it to the end, and am proudly wearing my Tiffany necklace. But now, it means much more to me then just a cool necklace - it commemorates all the heroes out there yesterday running a marathon of more then just miles.