Founder of No Nuts Moms Group & Director of Support Group Development at FAACT
FoodASC Member since 2016
Please tell us about yourself and why you are interested in food allergies.
My name is Lisa Rutter and I am the Founder of No Nuts Moms Group and I also work for FAACT as Director of Support Group Development. I live in Michigan with my husband, my 3 kids and my dog, Charlie Brown. My oldest son, Evan, was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts and tree-nuts at the age of three. The day he was diagnosed was one of the biggest changes and challenges my family has faced thus far.
Please tell us about your group.
No Nuts Moms Group is my passion. I started this group because of my son’s diagnosis. I felt alone and wanted to meet other families and children going through similar challenges. The group is a place for people to connect with families within their area. I have made some lifelong bonds with many of the MI members. I went from feeling like the only person going through this to being surrounded by so many families. The group has over 100 local chapters in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. We also have a very active Community Facebook Page and National Support Group and Forum.
Describe a challenging experience you had related to food allergies and your lessons learned.
My most challenging experience would be in preschool with my son when he was first diagnosed. This was a very rough time for me. I was so new to the food allergy world and I didn’t know how to deal with certain situations and how to keep my emotions in check. I wish I could go back and redo a few interactions I had with other mothers. I have definitely grown a lot and I would have done many things differently. I think I would have tried to communicate more face to face about issues rather than via email. Your true feelings can get lost in an email and your message can easily be misinterpreted by the people on the receiving end.
Describe a rewarding experience you had related to food allergies.
No Nuts Moms Group has an annual food free Easter Hunt and Halloween party. These are always the most rewarding to me. I just love doing these events and I wish I could do more. It is a great feeling to be surrounded by these families in one place and you know they are so thankful to be at a worry-free event with their children.
What motivates you to do what you do?
My son has always been a huge motivation, but so are all of the families in No Nuts Moms Group. I have some of the best members. They are so supportive and uplifting. They keep me going.
Do you have a go-to resource? If so, what is it and why is it useful?
Allergic Living has always held my attention with their stories, recipes and the “Ask the Allergist” posts. They have a very popular magazine, website and Facebook Page. Just a great resource all around.
What do you wish other people knew about food allergies and what’s one action that can be performed to increase knowledge and awareness in the general population?
Food allergies are serious and if you know anyone with a food allergy then you should try to be understanding of their needs. It is not a choice and even a tiny bite can cause an individual to have a life-threatening reaction. I think schools adding food allergies to their curriculum would make a huge difference in our society. FAACT has a free program for schools called “FAACT’s Food Allergy Curricula Program for Schools.” Here is a link to share with your schools: http://www.foodallergyawareness.org/education/school_curricula_program-2/school_curricula_program-34/
What advice would you give to someone just embarking upon this journey?
It is so important to learn about your child’s diagnosis. There are many families that leave their doctor’s office without much information at all, so I always encourage people to learn as much as they can. You are your child’s number one advocate.
Thank you Lisa for being part of our Member Spotlight! Have any more questions for Lisa? Ask them in the comments below.
Member Spotlight is our new monthly column in which we interview FoodASC members to highlight their businesses, publications and personal experiences. If you are interested in being featured or nominating another member for the spotlight, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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