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Where Have I Heard This Before?

From Paul Ryan's original health care proposal, which established him in some eyes as tough-minded health policy intellectual with bold and innovative solutions. Such as these: Provides a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs. Provides transparency in health care price and quality data, making this critical information readily available before someone needs health services. Creates state-based health care exchanges, so individuals and families have a one-stop marketplace to purchase affordable health insurance without being discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions. Equips states with tools like auto-enrollment programs and high-risk pools, so affordable health coverage can be accessed by all. Addresses health care’s growing strain on small businesses, by allowing them to pool together nationally to offer coverage to their employees. Encourages the a…
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Thanks and Thanksgiving at SAGE

Thanksgiving -- a time to give thanks.  As we reflect on the year, SAGE has much to be thankful for during this season.  In no particular order, here are some things we give thanks for at SAGE.

1) Our Amazing Volunteers (and Interns)!!!:  We couldn't grow 3 - 4 tons of food without the help of  the 500 - 600 community members who contribute their time and hard work each year.

2) Our Community Sponsors and Donors: Thanks Samaritan Health Services for supporting financially supporting the education programs out at SAGE.  Thank you to all the individuals who have contributed to the work we do at SAGE, every bit makes a difference and is appreciated!

3) Our In-Kind Donors: Nectar Bee Supply provides bee hives, care and expertise, Republic Services provides yards and yards of compost to the garden, Dunn & Co. Tree Service graciously donates wood chips all year long, Gathering Together Farm, Persephone Farm and Peoria Gardens all donate plant starts, Shonnard's Nursery provides s…

Beans, Beans and More (or Less) Allergenic Beans!

We have a little good news this week: my son passed a home bean challenge for both pinto and cannellini (white) beans last night. Hooray!

At our last allergist visit, they ran the numbers on a number of varieties of beans and many were Class 0, with values like 0.68. My son's doctor thought it was reasonable to try these at home.

Going to stop for a moment and interject: DON'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S DIRECTION. A lot of things go into whether home challenges are a good idea for your child: how serious the allergen typically is, how far the hospital, how experienced the parents are with recognizing reactions. Many doctors are not comfortable with this at all. But, in our case, it makes sense to do some challenges at home because my son tests slightly allergic to dozens of foods.

He has avoided all beans since around age five, when he started developing new allergies. First it was tuna. Then cashews. Then (to our great surprise), he suddenly became allergic to garbonzo be…

Taking The High Road With Food Allergies (Sometimes)

I was getting all ready to write a post about how grateful I am. You know...one of those count-down-to-Thanksgiving posts where I list all the people or things that have helped me along the way.

And I am grateful. Really. Having virtual friends who have traveled this same food-allergy road is a wonderful gift. I can name so many times when my panic and frustration were alleviated by someone I've never even met in real life, but who took the time to give me a tip, or to console me.

But frankly, my lovely gratitude post went out the window when I received this email from a relative:

What can we bring to share? I have some ideas: Sweet Potatoes glazed with Chutney and Ginger, Green beans with Dijon and Caper sauce, Creamed Green beans with Dill sauce, or whatever you request.   I am aware of [FAB's son] dietary restriction.

My son is allergic to beans. We avoid all beans. Even green beans. The doctor was surprised by this, as green beans are the least allergenic of the bean family, b…

Best Food Allergy Tweets/Posts From 2013 ACAAI Meeting

Sorry, guys...I've been very busy the last couple of weeks, but just over a week ago one of the largest allergy and asthma conferences, the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was tweeting its brains out.

Here were the tweets and (virtual) presentations I thought were most interesting:

ACE inhibitors are often used to treat high blood pressure. I believe Lisinopril was the one specifically mentioned. This goes hand in hand with the idea that older patients, especially men, can see changes in the severity of their allergic reactions as they age.

Here's an answer on the question many of us asked about component testing. Just as with RAST, the number itself doesn't matter; just the positive result.

Gross! But yes, give your kids the bobber after the dog/ brother/ mailman licked it.

Conversely, tree-nut-allergic individuals have a 30% incidence of concurrent peanut allergy. 
So stop blaming yourselves, FA mommies! I've said this consistently - Mother Natur…

Turn Trash to Treasure: An Easy Way to Help SAGE and the Corvallis Environmental Center!

Clear clutter and unwanted items from your home and you can help raise funds for the Corvallis Environmental Center--all year long!  Just take your unwanted items to an ARC Thrift Store where they sell them and donate the proceeds to the CEC.  It easy!  Here's how:

1. Collect Items in Good Condition

Not all donate-able items are eligible, so check out the list of items that will raise money for the CEC:
www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org/turn-trash-to-treasure
2. Put a sticker on each eligible item Stickers are located in a big envelope on the window outside of the CEC office at 214 SW Monroe Ave., Corvallis

3. Drop-off Items at The ARC! Items can be dropped off anytime during store hours at either location.

The ARC Thrift Stores:
928 NW Beca Street, Corvallis (541) 754-9011
936 Main Street, Philomath (541) 929-3946

Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5:30pm
Sunday: 12pm-5:30pm
Thanks so much for helping support SAGE and the other programs of the Corvallis Environmental Center!!!

Magical Thinking and Food Allergies

So we got our FAHF-2 clinical trial email notification this week.

No, it's not the trial results. It was just a brief little note:
We are pleased to let you know that study participants have completed all study visits and we are now able to inform you of which treatment arm you or your child were part of (active or placebo). [FAB's kid] was on active treatment medication.At this time we can only provide you with your treatment assignment.  We are unable to share any information pertaining to other study participants.  Once the data is fully analyzed and peer reviewed, we will be able to share the overall study results.  So...good. We weren't crazy.

The problem is that history is always written after the fact. While you're living your way through something, cause and effect are never clear. When people ask us whether the medication has made all the difference in my son's life, I have to just shrug and say "I don't know." There HAVE been some major changes …