The Chicago FAAN Walk for Food Allergy took place on Sunday, September 30th, in Lincoln Park. It was a beautiful day for a walk, temps in the 60's with a slight breeze, leaves starting to turn beautiful colors. Six of us walked as part of team Amanda's Allergy Annihilators - the five of us plus my mom. We wore blue shirts with our team name on them, except for miss Mandie, who had a pink shirt. It was cute, and fitting.
The day started with registration at noon. After we all got signed in, we headed over to the FAAN table to get our 2012 walk tee's, with the logo "We walk to save a life" on them. After getting our shirts, we walked around and stopped at all of the vendor and information tables, collecting information and samples from Divvies, MOCHA of Chicago, Surf Sweets, Mabel's Labels, Sunbutter, Enjoy Life foods, Home Free treats, Dr. Lucy's cookies, Udi's, Wowbutter, Cherrybrook Kitchen, Gimbal's, Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, Barney Butter, Allergic Living Magazine, Mylan (Epi Pens), and Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Of course, Mandie could not eat any of the allergy safe treats that the rest of us sampled - due to the extent and number of her allergies, however I planned for that and brought her some Yummy Earth suckers and Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears, which are the ONLY gummy candy that is safe for Mandie. Between those and an apple she was perfectly content. Of course, having a couple of cashew butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches and pumpkin mini muffins in the van didn't hurt either!
At noon, Eleanor Garrow of FAAN kicked off the program and gave out awards to teams and individuals who raised the most money. She also honored Denise Bunning and Anne Thompson of MOCHA,Dr. Jacqueline Pongracic of Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago - Honorary Medical Chair,
and introduced the junior ambassadors Thomas and Ann Majka (her children). Next Sara Shannon of Canada talked about Sabrina's Law, as 9/30 was the 9th Anniversary of her daughter Sabrina's death. The Chicago team exceeded the goal by almost $15,000 to date! Our own small team raised almost $500, thanks to generous donations.
At 1pm the walk kicked off with bubbles being blown for Sabrina. We walked along the three mile course through Lincoln Park, through the zoo, along Lake Michigan, and back through the park. Everyone walked at their own pace with their teams. Our team was joined by Team Super Harper, consisting of my friend Hannah Hill and her son Harper, who is Mandie's age. They had a great time as Hannah and I got to chat about life with allergies (Harper also has peanut, soy, sunflower, palm, and coconut allergies). Mandie was sooooo excited to have a friend with allergies like her!
Amanda in her pink team shirt. Blue ribbons were for people walking with allergies, green ribbons for people walking for someone they love with allergies.
Mandie, me, and Truman before the program started.
Eleanor Garrow and her children.
My sweet, silly boys! Steve, Truman, & Hunter.
Amanda's Allergy Annihilators: Truman, my mom Cindi, Mandie, me, Hunter, and Steve.
Truman, Mandie and myself, Hannah, Harper (who is being a ghost), and Hunter.