July 1, 2011

BJ Hom Memorial 5K Run

Last week we shared recent headlines about the increasing rate of food allergies among children.  One family affected by food allergies was the Hom family.

The summer of 2008 was supposed to be a time of celebration for parents Brian and Kathy Hom.  BJ, the eldest of their three sons, had just graduated from high school.  The family took a vacation to Los Cabos to celebrate the occasion.  Arriving at their hotel after 8:00pm, the family rushed to catch the dinner buffet without unpacking anything.  After dinner as they were starting a walk around the hotel, BJ, who was peanut-allergic, complained that his throat hurt and asked his dad for cough drops.  Within minutes BJ collapsed in the hotel lobby, body pale and lips blue, unable to breathe.  BJ died a short time later, a horrifying result of anaphylactic shock to peanuts from a buffet dessert.

Since that day BJ's father, Brian, has been on a painful but important mission to tell his son's story.  He has spoken at various food allergy conferences and connected with many online food allergy blogs and health news outlets.  Mr. Hom's goal is to build awareness of food allergies and their potentially fatal impact if gone undiagnosed or untreated.  His message is simple and clear: be proactive about testing and retesting for food allergies, be cautious of outside food, and always always carry life-saving medication no matter how mild you believe the food allergies to be.

On October 8th the Homs will shine a spotlight on food allergies with the BJ Hom Memorial 5K Run.  The event will take place in San Jose, California, (BJ's hometown) and will raise funds for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN).  Registration is $30 online or $35 for day-of registration.  You may register individually or with a team.  Participants are free to run or walk, and strollers and wagons are welcome if you walk.

We at Get Allergy Wise would like to form a team for the run/walk (who am I kidding? *walk*).  The suggested fundraising goal is $300 per person.  This is suggested not mandatory so please don't let this deter you from participating, although I think $300 is a very doable goal.  I'm thinking of our friends and relatives that care so much about our kids but don't exactly know how to help.  This fundraiser offers them a way to help.

For more information on the run, check out the Facebook page for the event.

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