Every day, we hear from families dealing with conditions like food allergies, Type 1 diabetes, pediatric cancers and so much more. These conditions impact a family on every level—financial, emotional, mental and physical.
We also hear about some pretty amazing kids who decide to become their own advocates.
That’s what happened when we heard from Weston and his mom, Jennifer.
In light of the recent headlines about Mylan’s chairman paying himself $160+ million to oversee the price-gouging known as #epigate, we are thrilled to highlight the story of this boy. He gives us hope for future leadership in the food allergy world.
Dear Robyn, I am the mother of an amazing 11 year old boy with food intolerances When my son was about 4 years old, we discovered he had an intolerance to artificial colors and flavors. When he consumed these ingredients, he would vomit, but he would also get very agitated and angry and out of control, almost as if something was taking control of his little brain. I did a ton of research, and ended up doing an elimination diet where we removed anything that wasn’t a whole food.
After about a week off of processed foods, my son was able to look me in the eye and he was able to control his emotions in an age appropriate way. We slowly added some foods back in to his diet, and landed on petroleum based food additives as the culprit. Since then, he has been off of all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives and life has been pretty good.
We switched from the word intolerance to the word allergy because people listen to that word in large part, I’m certain, due to your work. At the beginning of our food exploration, I was using the word “special diet” or “intolerance” and twice had other parents feed my child brightly colored birthday cakes or treats because they “felt bad for him.” After that, we started saying he is allergic, because people don’t mess around with food allergies.
Weston is an advocate for eating a healthy, non-GMO diet, and has told many of his friends at school that he’s lucky to have his allergy, as it requires him to eat real food instead of chemicals. He has inspired others in his class and neighborhood to adopt a healthier way of eating through his passion for whole foods.
Weston is not only a kid with food allergies, but he also has dyslexia. He has worked super hard to reach a reading level above grade level, but he does still struggle with spelling and handwriting. I tell you this because he wrote you a letter, Robyn, and I’ll attach it to this email, but I’ll also transcribe it for you below.
Weston is working on a project in school where he has to create a website that will inspire others. He chose food allergy awareness. He and I watched your Ted Talk together, and then he did quite a bit of research. He is looking for any data that correlates the rise in food allergies to the use of chemicals and GMOs in our food supply. He is very inspired by you, and wanted you to know what he’s working on. Below is his letter to you.
Dear Robyn, I am creating a website due to an artificial allergy I’ve had as long as I can remember. I’ve learned many facts from my research; including that adding synthetic anything to our food can increase ADHD symptoms, cancer in animals and sometimes cancer in humans. People don’t know this important information, and I bet if they do know, most of them really don’t care. I’m one of the few who care about what goes into our bodies. After learning some of these important facts, I’ve been more passionate than ever to make this world a better place. One step at a time, one bite at a time, the world can be, no WILL be, a better place. Thank you, Weston
Thank you for taking the time to read our story, and Westons letter. We would love to hear back from you and help your cause in any way possible! Thank you for all that you do! Best regards, Jennifer and Weston