Unusual news today: Kaleo, the makers of the Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injector launched a new campaign, No Appetite for Bullying. I’ll be honest, my cynical self was doing its best to pop out and say, “so what, there are lots of anti-bullying campaigns out there. What makes this one so special?” Kaleo brought together all four major food allergy advocacy organizations to rally around bully by creating the No Appetite for Bullying Teen Coalition. Yes, you heard right. All four major food allergy advocacy organizations (yup, I had to say it again). I can’t recall a time in my last seventeen years on our food allergic journey that our beloved organizations committed to working together on a special campaign. This is truly groundbreaking.
A direct quote from the press release:
No Appetite for Bullying is a multi-year anti-food allergy bullying initiative to elevate attention to food allergy bullying with the goal of creating solutions that foster tolerance and understanding. The goal is to clearly convey the potential seriousness of food allergies and create a movement that encourages children with food allergies, along with parents, teachers and peers, to be a voice against food allergy bullying. To ensure that the project is relatable to children and teens, a No Appetite for Bullying Teen Coalition will bring together students between the ages of 13 and 17 to share experiences, provide support, and discuss solutions to help end food allergy bullying. In addition, we are calling for food allergy bullying stories to be shared with us so we can help bring the issue to life.
Kaleo commissioned a survey to help better under the gaps in the understanding of food allergy bullying. A visual recap of the study can be found in the infographic provided above. For my family, our most disturbing bullying experiences came from adults, not children. My children have experienced both, including some that were thoughtless actions, delivered by unaware classmates. The school bully once made disparaging remarks about food allergy kids about my daughter. Once she confronted him, he become her protector! The moral of this story is there are so many layers to bullying and the more we talk, the closer to get to dissolving food allergy bullying. This project also invites teens to share their bullying story, visit NoAppetiteForBullying.com for details.
Each organization brings much value, expertise and intelligence to the table to create this powerhouse of a teenage campaign. I couldn’t be any happier starting off my week with this good news.
Good news about the coalition, anti-bullying awareness and unity, the trifecta of change, is just what we all need.