Countdown to Philadelphia!

chop-exterior3-lgWe’re counting down to the 1st Annual FPIES Education Conference–less than one week away! Today, our Travel Grant recipient Shaula Brown shares her thoughts and two videos as she prepares to make the trip to Philadelphia. Like so many FPIES parents, Shaula has a long list of questions she hopes to have answered. The conference includes two Q&A sessions where FPIES families can have their general questions answered by our panel of speakers. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Shaula!

Hi! My name is Shaula Brown, and I am the recipient of the 2013 FPIES Education Conference Travel Grant. I have one son, Ryan, who is 8.5 months old and was diagnosed with FPIES at 5.5 months after many months of suspected reflux and dairy allergy. He is currently FPIES to dairy, soy, rice, squash, and sweet potatoes.

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to travel to the conference from my home in Colorado with the help of the IAFFPE. We are new to this journey, and I have so many questions I hope we can get answered. In particular, I am looking forward to the session “Clinical Management: From Diagnosis to Food Challenges”— I am always curious about how we should be trialing foods at home and what to expect as we continue into hospital trials with some of my son’s bigger fails.

VIDEO 1: Shaula Prepares for FPIES Conference: Questions About Food Trials

I am also interested in the session on “Filling the Nutritional Gaps.” Ryan currently has only one safe food plus his elemental formula. I hope to learn more about good, nutritious things to trial and introduce. I am also hoping to get more information about how to keep him safe when he is away from me, whether it’s at school as he gets older, at his grandparents, or with a babysitter. I am always worried he will be given something or he will find a way to accidentally ingest something he shouldn’t.

VIDEO 2: Shaula Prepares for FPIES Conference: Questions About Medicine

I know these are the same questions and fears many of us have as FPIES parents, and it will be wonderful to meet others who share this experience. I am not only thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the FPIES Education Conference, but I’m also looking forward to sharing the information I learn with Ryan’s doctors, family, friends, and other parents of children with FPIES. Thank you for the opportunity!

There’s still time to reserve your spot for the 2013 FPIES Education Conference on October 20th in Philadephia. For our friends who can’t make it, you can still connect with us on Twitter (@iaffpe) for live tweeting under the handle #fpiesconf. And we’ll be posting updates here on Facebook throughout the day. You can also submit your general FPIES questions to contact@iaffpe.org for the two Q&A sessions with our panel of experts.

We hope to see you next Sunday!

We Have a Winner!

Brown Family IAFFPE Travel  GrantIAFFPE is thrilled to award Shaula Brown our $500 Travel Grant to attend our 2013 FPIES Education Conference in Philadelphia, PA on October 20th. Shaula is the mother of 7-month-old Ryan, who was recently diagnosed with FPIES after many months of pain and uncertainty. Our travel grant program seeks to encourage and support families in need, and Shaula’s award will enable her family to cover conference-related expenses such as airfare and lodging.

The Browns have faced the same challenges that so many FPIES families face: the pain and worry of a delayed diagnosis; the lack of a cohesive team to guide them; the stress and monetary burdens. Shaula had a strong desire to attend the conference but it wasn’t financially possible to make the trip from her home in Colorado. With no safe foods, Ryan’s only source of nutrition is costly elemental formula that is not covered by the family’s insurance.

“I can’t even begin to fully express what it to means to me to be able to attend the conference and to get the support we desperately need,” Shaula said when we notified her of the award. She is excited to take on an active role to educate others about FPIES and spread IAFFPE’s message. She looks forward to sharing thoughts and videos from her conference experience with the entire FPIES community. Prior to receiving this grant, Shaula was already active in sharing her FPIES journey and raising awareness by blogging and guest blogging.

Thank you to everyone who applied for IAFFPE’s Travel Grant for the 2013 FPIES Education Conference. The decision-making process was a very difficult one, with so many worthy applicants and only a limited amount of grant dollars. We were touched by the compelling stories we received and plan to expand our grant program for future conferences.

We are excited to give this family the opportunity to find some hope and support at our gathering of parents and experts. Congratulations Shaula!