As the day winds down, be you mother or not, take a look to the east. From the high tops of Verona you can see the Empire State Building. The building has been lit up in a variety of colors for a variety of reasons and on this Mother’s Day it will be lit up in teal.
The Empire State Building is not the only landmark that will be raising awareness with teal light. If you happen to be in West Virginia, check out the Elk River Bridge. In Oklahoma, the Skydance Bridge will be awash in teal on the 13th. The Orlando Eye will turn teal on the 18th as well the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. But there are many, many more. (A complete listing can be found here.)
As an allergic mom with a non-allergic kid, I’ve seen first-hand how Verona has progressed over the years when it comes to food allergies. While no parent who has a child with food allergies will ever feel completely relaxed when it comes food issues, we know that all our schools are well educated in the issue. (Something that was not the case when I went through the Verona school system back in the 1970s and 1980s.) Public education on food allergies really came into its own in the 1990s with Food Allergy Awareness week being created in 1998 by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (now Food Allergy Research & Education: FARE), which itself was only seven years old.
While we have a long way to go when it comes to education (something that becomes very obvious every time I dine out), never in my wildest dreams as a child would I have imagined an entire week being dedicated to food allergy awareness. To have the Empire State Building aglow in teal light as a reminder? Impossible!
But it’s not. Take a moment to look east this evening and know that step by step and year by year our community, our country and our world becomes better educated about food allergies. Know that research is being done to make future generations safer. Who knows? Maybe someday food allergies will be a thing of the past. Impossible? With education, nothing is.
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For five years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog.