Hunter, NY - On Feb. 22, Hunter Mountain ski area's race director, Jim Catalano, is going to attempt to ski 100,000 vertical feet in one day at the New York State ski resort. One hundred percent of the money raised for this event will go directly to support the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network's efforts in food allergy awareness, advocacy, education, and research.
Two years ago, Catalano's son had eaten a bakery-purchased pizza dough that had something in it that caused him to go into anaphylaxis. Catalano and his wife had been aware of their son's severe allergies since he had reacted with hives and swelling to many foods that they introduced to him as an infant. Allergy testing revealed allergies to milk, peanuts, sesame, soy, berries, tree nuts and shellfish.
On the night that he had the dough, however, none of those ingredients were listed on the label, which referenced only flour, water and salt. This is when the Catalano family became aware of how trace amounts of foods, amounts that you can’t even see or smell, can make a severely allergic child have an anaphylactic reaction.
"This was the most frightening experience of our lives," Catalano recounts.
Through the Food Allergy and Anaphylactic Network’s (FAAN) website, Catalano learned that more than 12 million Americans have food allergies, including three million children. He and his wife also learned how to interpret the increasingly complex ingredient labels on foods, including how for example, casein, whey, etc. can be other words for milk.
The funds raised through Catalano's ski marathon on Feb. 22 will go directly to support the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network's efforts in food allergy awareness, advocacy, education, and research. "This is not a fundraiser for our son," he emphasizes. "This is a fundraiser for all people living with life-threatening allergies, in hopes of a cure."
To donate to Catalano's efforts, visit 100kforfoodallergies.blogspot.com.