Families Channel Their Losses into Food Allergy Advocacy to Protect Our Kids

Elijah and Oakley

During the past year, we had the unfortunate occasion to report the loss of two children to anaphylaxis. These kids were like yours and mine: vibrant, full of life, and coping with the restrictions that food allergies placed upon them through no fault of their own.

Oakley Debbs was an 11 year-old who unknowingly consumed a pastry with nuts during Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 despite his severe tree nut allergy. More recently, this November, 3 year-old Elijah Silvera was given a grilled cheese sandwich at his daycare despite his severe milk allergy. Both boys ultimately succumbed to their reactions.

Now, the parents of these boys are channelling their grief in an effort to safeguard our children.

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After founding Red Sneakers for Oakley, a food allergy advocacy, Oakley’s mother, Merrill Debbs is working to bring attention to the dangers of food allergy to schools nationwide. She is requesting schools throughout the country to sponsor a food allergy awareness day in an effort to bring attention to the dangers of food allergy and anaphylaxis.

“We are really pounding the pavement to get this information out,” Debbs said. No parent wants to be me. You don’t want to see your kid die in front of your from eating a piece of cake.”

You can help Mrs Debbs and the community by sponsoring a food allergy awareness day at your child’s school. For more information, contact Red Sneakers for Oakley.

Thomas Silvera, Elijah’s father, is speaking out on the occasion of Elijah’s fourth birthday to raise awareness and funds for FARE. Hear his words and heed his advice:

You can make a donation in Elijah’s name by clicking here.

Our sincere thanks go out to the Silvera and Debbs families for their efforts in preventing similar tragedies to those that have befallen them. Our sympathies are with you as well as our gratitude.

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