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Seeking: Support Groups for Parents of Kids with Severe Allergies

An urbanMama recently emailed:

I am having trouble finding support/meeting groups in Portland for parents of kids with severe food allergies.  So far only one in Hillsboro.

Any suggestions?

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So sorry to hear that your child has food allergies. There is a group started by a wonderful PDX mama called Oregon Food Allergy Network. The website is here:
http://www.oregonfoodallergy.org

There is also a facebook page for OFAN. Is you have a FB account, just search for Oregon Food Allergy Network on FB and it will pop up. It's a closed group, I think, so you'll have to ask to join, but the leader is quick and on top of it. You can post there to see if there are moms in other parts of the city who want to meet up.

If you are recently diagnosed, you also might want to check out Kids With Food Allergies. They are a national organization, but they have a fantastic online support group as well as tons of printable resources (everything from new allergy friendly foods and how to navigate school, to food ingredients in common preschool activities and vaccines.

It is so hard having a kid with food allergies, but you are lucky you live in Portland, where many people "get it". I am working with a group of people to start Camp Blue Spruce, a worry-free camp for kids with food allergies. We are hoping that this effort will not only be fun and help kids with allergies become independent, it will also bring families of kids with food allergies together.

Camp Blue Spruce is like any other sleepover summer camp EXCEPT the food is prepared without any of the top food allergens. Located in Banks, Oregon, just 30 miles from Portland, the camp is five days and nights, August 18 – 23, and is loaded with fun for boys and girls ages 9 to 14, including:
• Swimming
• Hiking
• Arts and Crafts
• Field Games
• Campfires
• And More . . .

The camp is free of the foods that cause more than 90% of allergic reactions, including: dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, gluten and sesame.

To learn more and register, visit www.campbluespruce.org or “like” them on Facebook. You can also contact them at 503-726-8886 or info(at)campbluespruce.org.

I have a 9yr old with Celiac disease and a 6 year old with multiple food allergies, and I have not found kid-focused support groups for either. But I am thrilled about Camp Blue Spruce (www.campbluespruce.org), mentioned above. My 9yr old daughter is registered and can’t wait to go. This will be an opportunity for her to be around kids who deal with similar issues daily. Gales Creek, the location, is a great camp, and the way it has been planned, it is a place I feel safe sending her. I hope people can help spread the word about Camp Blue Spruce. I want it to be successful and around for years to come for kids with Celiac and food allergies (like my 6 yr old who can’t wait until she is old enough to attend).

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