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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

An AfFARE to Remember



Hey everyone! This past Sunday my son and I worked one of the tables at the local FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) walk in Maryland. It was a beautiful day and a great event. What struck me the most, however, was my 11 year old's metamorphosis. Most of the time, I'm telling him to "cut it out," "calm down" or "stop being so silly and focus." I know, these are typical statements used in reference to most 11 yr. old boys! Nevertheless, what I witnessed this past Sunday was eye opening. Here was a boy full of poise, maturity (always relative) showmanship, salesmanship and totally being in the moment.

For the first time in a very long time, he was able to be himself without worrying that someone was judging him as "weird" for having a food allergy. He talked to little kids and shared his experiences, and just as easily conversed with adults, impressing them with his allergy acumen and his passion. Who was this kid?

I have always firmly believed that doing good for others makes for a well rounded child, yet due to  generally letting life and all it craziness get in the way, we haven't done enough of it lately. What I witnessed this past Sunday only reinforced the idea that gratitude and good deeds truly are an essential part of our children's upbringing. Sometimes we need reminders to just smack us in the face bringing us out of our complacency.

Below is the link to the live impromptu video we did on Facebook. I love this video because it truly demonstrated our genuine feelings about the day along with our gratitude to being an important part of something greater than ourselves.


https://www.facebook.com/rachel.o.packer.7/videos/10210696648880763/

Friday, September 9, 2016

You Can't Put a Price on Life-But Mylan Did



When our 20 year-old television started cutting off tops of heads, my husband and I decided to purchase a flat screen. We didn't need a lot of reasons to make this investment. The culminating factor was when  my 11 yr. old had to start wearing his glasses specifically to see the Netflix descriptions because they were too small-OMG tragedy!  Sure, it was an expense, and yes, we researched it for weeks, poring over Sunday circulars and stalking Amazon until we found the right size at the right price. Press the button-CLICK-and a new TV comes to our door through Prime magic. TADA! Now, could we have waited a while longer? SURE. Did we HAVE to get a new one? NO. Could we have survived? ABSOLUTELY!

The television is a luxury, a frivolous source of entertainment. If it's on the fritz or it cuts off tops of heads or the news crawler at the bottom of a newscast, I can pretty much live, or find another gadget like my phone or Ipad. On second thought, it's probably better that I can't read the news at the bottom of the screen. The point is, it's an OPTION and I won't die if I had to live with the status quo. Moreover, I had thousands to choose from. Admittedly a little overwhelming.

Not so much with an Epi-Pen purchase.  It's not an option. It's not something my kids can live without. I can't run to Amazon and price compare. There's one choice. LIFE. They say you can't put a price on life, but evidently you can, to the tune of $600.

The Mylan Epi-Pen scandal has been an unfolding  news story these past few weeks and while I have remained relatively  quiet on the subject, (which is unusual for me) it has been bubbling up within. Both my children have severe food allergies. We live with the reality everyday. The Epi-Pen is an appendage, It's basically attached to us even if it's a non-food related activity. That's our life. An asthmatic wouldn't be without an inhaler; a diabetic needs their insulin. These are the things that help keep us alive, so we take it pretty seriously, even though much of the population thinks that food allergy folks are over dramatic sensationalists.

The fact that a company can gouge it's customers who basically have no choice, is not only reprehensible but a complete violation to human beings on this planet. I'm not naive. I know the world can sometimes be a nasty place, however, this isn't the first time a company's greed reached a pinnacle where the Senate woke up and decided to launch an investigation. HO HUM. Like that hasn't happened before. Then what? In the meantime, while they're scrambling and acting self-righteous, we (the allergy community) are still stuck in the trenches shelling out thousands of dollars (because one needs more than one Epi-Pen) to keep our children alive. My wish is that this issue will have an expedient resolve before a tragedy unfolds because you can't put a price on life, even though Mylan did.