Food Allergy Bloggers Conference Reflections: A Tightly Stitched Community

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Wow.  Just WOW.

Have you ever gone to a party or been in a classroom where everyone liked the same thing?  You feel comforted and energized at the same, don’t you?  That’s kinda how I felt this past weekend when I went to the first ever Food Allergy Bloggers Conference (FABlogcon) in Las Vegas.    It was amazing to get to connect and talk to other people like me-moms and individuals that think about food allergies 24/7.  For once I felt like I was in a place where people understood me.  For once others didn’t say, “What DO you EAT?!?!” when I rattled off my son’s long list of allergens.  Instead, I heard sympathetic and understanding comments.  For once.  Finally.  I didn’t feel alone.  That’s where the WOW factor comes in.

As our plane approached Vegas I couldn’t help but notice the barrenness of the mountain and desert that I hadn’t been around since I was 3 years old on a family vacation.  I’ve never seen it for myself from the air.  It was overwhelming.  It was beautiful, but it was still overwhelming.  It was so empty.  That’s how I remember feeling when I realized I was on the long and isolating road of a food allergy mom.

Fast forward to the Meet and Greet on Saturday night when my introverted personality was thrust into a room full of others that were like me.  It was still lonely at first until fun conversations were started, common stories were shared and laughs bellowed through the evening.  The conversations were broke up by a moment of silence for those lost to food allergies this year, an opening speech by Jenny Sprague, positive feedback from Nevada Senator Debbie Smith, and uplifting comments from one of the designers of the Auvi-Q.   Add to that introductions from various vendors, some incredibly tasty snacks, and new friends and it was a really fun evening!  (Check out the list of attendees here).

Sunday and Monday morning were filled with some intensely informative sessions where I typed vigorously to soak in as much information as I could.  I attended the blogging track and learned so much more than I thought possible.  My clone (aka my mother) attended as a supportive grandmother and attended the Disease Management track, where she also took notes and gained insight on life with food allergies.  Sunday night ended with a Wine and Sign where we talked to authors and bought books, while again enjoying some incredible food.  Chef Keith Norman did an amazing job with the food!

Monday’s sessions rounded out with three uplifting sessions. The keynote address was led by author Henry Erlich speaking about his book Asthma Allergies Children and the future of food alleriges.  Next was an advocacy talk led by three powerful women, and one last session capped the weekend with the aim of answering the question, “Where do we go from here?”

Where DO we go from here?  In the last session a fellow blogger made a comment about not being divided as a group if we’re going to make a difference in our world of food allergies.  Then someone said that we weren’t divided.  Both comments have their own degree of truth, but let’s put it this way…..

As my plane descended on my lifelong, Midwest home state I noticed the difference in the terrain from Saturday’s arrival in Vegas.  The midwest is full of color, straight lines, and texture from the various types of vegetation.  It makes a quilt of many colors.  Each quilt square represents a blogger from FABlogcon.  Even though we’re different, we are sewn together by a common thread.  The stitches are tight and we come together to make a quilt.  FABlogcon attendees, as we go back into our communities think of yourselves as part of a quilt that when stitched together across the world can make a difference by educating, informing, and advocating on behalf of food allergic individuals everywhere.  We can do this.  Now go into your communities and be that voice that can bring awareness, write that blog post that can inform, and be that advocate.  I’ll say it again:  We CAN do this.

 

Food Allergy Bloggers Conference Reflections

Midwest from the air, but the picture doesn’t do it justice.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

22 thoughts on “Food Allergy Bloggers Conference Reflections: A Tightly Stitched Community

  1. Thank you for your post! I really wanted to go but found out about it too late. Just wondering was there a speaker who spoke on the topic of GMOs ad Glyphosate? The research I have seen pints directly to the foreign proteins in GMOs and the glyphosate ( RoundUp) sprayed ON Gmos ( cannot be washed off and hundreds of millions of lbs are sprayed every year on our food) which weakens the immune system, destroys the gut bacteria and can cause leaky gut ie: allergies. My son went GMO free and a few months later his allergic reactions to Carageenan ( which can cause stomach cancer) were hugely diminished, a year later, totally gone. His life threatening allergic reaction to nuts has diminished down to mild. Eating organic is the answer. Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved.

    • Zen,
      There was no talk directly on that subject, but I wholeheartedly agree that GMOs play a HUGE factor into the food allergy epidemic.
      Thanks for reading,
      Rachel

  2. What I great piece! I am so sorry I missed the conference. I would love to meet people who are like minded about food allergies. I feel that when I talk to my other friends about food allergies, their eyes glaze over and they lose interest. Oh well, just call me Crazy Nut Mom!
    I hope to be lucky enough to attend the conference if they have it again next year.

  3. What a great review! And what a fabulous conference. It was life changing being amongst such great role models and fellow food allergy parents. I absolutely cannot wait for next year! It was great meeting you!

  4. I love the quilt metaphor. We are all patches of the quilt. It was such a great conference – I met so many great people and now I see there were still more great people there I didn’t have a chance to meet!

  5. Pingback: #FABlogCon Review Round-up | Food Allergy Bloggers Conference 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 2-4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *