Every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room. Scary for adults—and even scarier for children. This October, MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) will bring a heightened awareness to this growing problem at its Storybook Ball.
Now in its 18th year, the Storybook Ball is one of Boston’s pinnacle events, bringing supporters, advocates and medical professionals together to honor pediatric care at MGHfC. This year’s fundraiser takes place on Saturday, October 14, at The Castle in Back Bay, with a spotlight on food allergy.
For Charlestown residents and Storybook Ball committee members, Andrea and Justin Rosen, the focus this year hits home.
“Our four-year-old son, Sam, was diagnosed with several severe and life-threatening allergies at 10 months old,” said Andrea Rosen. “MGHfC, and specifically Dr. Shreffler, have been instrumental in helping us manage Sam’s food allergies. We are grateful that Dr. Shreffler is at the forefront of food allergy research and making impactful strides to not only manage food allergies but to treat pediatric food allergy patients through development of research and clinical trials at MGHfC.”
Despite their prevalence, the underlying causes of food allergies remain a mystery. In people with allergies, the harmless proteins found in common food allergens – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy and wheat – set off adverse immune responses that can be extreme and even life-threatening. Most of the time patients are not sick, but live under the constant threat and fear of an allergic reaction. No cure currently exists, and the primary treatment is to avoid specific foods.
Andrea Rosen is Assistant General Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs for Kering Americas, Inc., which owns PUMA SE. A luxury booth partner of Storybook Ball, PUMA is donating a wide range of PUMA products, from performance men’s golf shirts to PUMA sneakers.
“MGHfC is an incredible place where children and families can receive the critical health care that they need and often when they can’t find it anywhere else,” said Andrea Rosen. “MGHFC is changing and saving lives.”
For more information on the MGHfC Food Allergy Center and the Storybook Ball, visit storybookballboston.org.