As my family made our teal pumpkins this weekend I began thinking about how the Teal Pumpkin Project can (and will) help more than just people with food allergies…
My search for non-food treats had me investigating local venues as well as online sites like amazon.com. A quick search for teal bracelets led me to a number of ovarian cancer awareness products. I had no idea that teal was the ovarian cancer awareness color too! By sharing colors, I have been educated. I learned that only 14.7% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed before spreading. WOW. Hopefully, the people supporting the ovarian cancer cause will learn from the food allergy community as well.
The second group that immediately came to mind was diabetics. As a diabetes educator, I am a part of numerous on-line diabetes support groups. The parents of diabetic children face the same exclusion and frustration that we do. Their children cannot partake in food the same way other children do and these parents must plan ahead just like food allergy parents. The Teal Pumpkin Project will directly help diabetic children by providing the same non-food treats that allow food allergy children to feel included.
I have been sharing the Teal Pumpkin Project with diabetic groups and encouraging them to notice and use the event. I would like to embolden the food allergy community to embrace this shared goal: happy, healthy children that feel loved, included, and safe.