#Just10BucksToEAT: Local Moms Raise Money For Food Allergy Research

May is Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month and statistics are staggering: 1 in 12 children has a food allergy.

So, Kim Hall and Elise Bates, Connecticut moms of children with life-threatening food allergies, just launched a new organization called EAT - End Allergies Together.  The mission?  To bridge the $450 million dollar gap in funding for much-needed research.

Recently, Hall, of North Stamford, wrote this opinion piece for CNN, sharing her daugher's story.  When Lindsay was eleven months old, she ate scrambled eggs with cheese.  "She went into anaphylactic shock, turned blue and was transported by ambulance to the hospital.  "We had no idea that she had these allergies," says Hall.  Lindsay was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, hazel nut and almonds, resulting in a difficult, frightening lifestyle which dictates the daily actions of the entire family.  Two years ago, mom and daughter started traveling to Stanford University in California for a potential clinical study, desensitizing children to five allergens at one time. 

During this process, Hall discovered that there will be 60 children in the study which will cost $4.5 million dollars.  That's $75,000 dollars per person.  "It really opened my eyes to what it's going to cost to fund research to try to find a cure," says Hall.

Then, at a gathering of parents, she met Elise Bates, whose daughter also has food allergies. "As Kim and I started talking we really said, 'How can we help?'  We have business backgrounds,"  explains Bates of Fairfield, who looked at funds being allocated to research of other dieases and disorders - such as autism and childhood diabetes.  "By sort of peeling the onion we realized there weren't many dollars going into research (of food allergies)....we just said, 'This is not happening quickly enough for us.'  We looked at each other and said, 'We're going to do this.'" 

EAT launched last Friday, the first day of the awareness month.  100% of proceeds go directly to researchers.  "What we're trying to do is accelerate the pace of research which is really what's going to make a difference in finding a cure," says Bates.

17 million people have food allergies.  But, the women assert that at least 30 million people are affected by food allergies, if a caregiver is factored into the equation.

Therefore, they have started a campaign, asking the community to come together.  If every person affected by food allergies donates $10 dollars, they can raise $300 million dollars.  "Give a little bit to make a big difference," says Bates.

Click here to learn more about the campaign - #Just10BucksToEat.

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