LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Over 1,500 Walkers Expected to Stroll the Long Branch Boardwalk on September 11th – As any parent knows, life with children is a balancing act between worrying for their safety and setting them free to grow and meet new challenges. For parents of children who have food allergies that balancing act is even more pronounced. And that’s one reason why journalist and author Janice Lieberman says she’s honored to be the honorary chairperson of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward A Cure in Long Branch on Sept. 11, 2010. Lieberman has also recently been named an Ambassador who Cares by FAAN.
When Lieberman’s young cousin was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy more than seven years ago, it made an immediate impact. Lieberman, who is known for her consumer reporting on The Today Show and her column in Reader’s Digest, was concerned for her cousin and his family. She is now well-versed on the issue of food allergies and well-prepared for family gatherings involving her 8-year-old cousin or anyone with food allergies.
Lieberman, author of How To Shop For A Husband: A Consumer Guide To Get A Great Buy On A Guy, has appeared as a contributor on Oprah and written for Redbook, and is used to giving people advice on all kinds of things. She also has advice for people managing food allergies. “You must never leave home without your epinephrine auto-injector and emergency treatment kit,” she said. “I highly recommend joining FAAN. It’s a wonderful resource for all of those with food allergies. I also advise children and parents affected by food allergies to take an active role in educating others in their community about food allergies.”
Frank Dicopoulos, best known for his 22 years on the long-running soap opera “Guiding Light” and currently host of the cable TV show “NJ Discover,” will emcee the event. “Educating the public and our own children about food allergy safety is key, and gives us peace of mind when they are away from us,” said Dicopoulos. Both Dicopoulos and his teenage daughter have food allergies. Dicopoulos has been a spokesperson for the FAAN Walk for Food Allergy in Long Branch since 2008 and has recently been named an Ambassador Who Cares by FAAN.
More than 60,000 New Jersey school children who have food allergies, which have no known cure. An estimated 150 people die every year from fatal reactions nationwide, and another estimated 50,000 people seek treatment in emergency rooms for food-induced anaphylaxis. This is why Congressman Pallone has agreed to be a guest speaker at this event. He is sympathetic to the needs of the food-allergic and has offered his support.
Dr. Hugh Sampson, a Professor of Pediatrics and Immunobiology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY, is Honorary Medical Chair for this event. Sampson is Chief of the Division of Allergy & Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics, Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, and Dean of Translational Biomedical Science at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Sampson’s research interests have focused on food allergic disorders. Additionally, Dr. Sampson is the Medical Director of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI).
The Walk begins at 10:00 a.m. at the Great Lawn, north of Pier Village, with check-in at 9:00 a.m. Following the Walk, New Jersey rocker Ray Andersen, who has played with Bruce Springsteen, Matchbox 20, and Meat Loaf, and who is now known to thousands of kids as the children’s singer/songwriter mr. RAY, will be headlining a free concert following the Walk. mr. RAY’s bookings manager’s son, the daughter of a band member, as well as two children who sing with the mr. RAY band, have food allergies.
Post-walk activities also include appearances by Star Wars costumed characters, world-renowned magician Josh Beckerman, and the Lakewood BlueClaws mascot, Buster.
Greater Media Newspapers, Millennium Radio New Jersey, Lester Glenn Auto and Retro Fitness are sponsors for the FAAN Walk of Long Branch. 94.3 the Point and NJ 101.5 will be present at the event.
To register for the Long Branch Walk, visit http://www.foodallergywalk.org/longbranch_nj10
Founded in 1991, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is the world leader in information about food allergy, a potentially fatal condition that afflicts approximately 12 million Americans, or one out of every 25, and is rapidly increasing in prevalence. A nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, Va., FAAN has 30,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and 62 other countries. It is dedicated to increasing public awareness of food allergy and its consequences, to educating people about the condition, and to advancing research on behalf of all those affected by it. FAAN provides information and educational resources about food allergy to patients, their families, schools, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and government officials. For more information, please visit FAAN at www.foodallergy.org.