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Moms vs. Allergies

A grass-roots fight against an epidemic



The Bates and Hall families join forces for fun as well as their current efforts on behalf of E.A.T

Photos by Ryan Lavine

Kim Hall’s daughter was just shy of her first birthday the first time she went into anaphylactic shock. Her mother had fed her scrambled eggs with cheese. Elise Bates’s daughter was three years old when a trace of egg sent her to the emergency room; she ended up there again at age nine after reacting to green beans containing traces of nuts. 

Their stories are like countless others told by parents of children with food allergies. It is a life defined by reading labels, questioning every pizza-and-cake birthday party, carrying an ever present Epi-Pen, worrying about what snacks might be served on a flight, and knowing that the wrong bite at the wrong time could be catastrophic. 

“We were forced into this lifestyle for the next ten years. Her allergy was a huge factor whenever we would travel, and we stopped going to restaurants,” Hall says of her daughter Lindsay, who has an anaphylactic reaction to dairy, eggs, and nuts. “We realized that just the dust from a Dorito could put her into a life-threatening situation.”

Seeking answers, Hall attended a local food allergy meeting in 2013. There, she met Bates, whose daughter Campbell’s allergic reactions also include rashes, digestive issues, and eczema that can take up to two weeks to clear. The two women immediately connected, sharing a common belief that while education and prevention are important, more needs to be done right now to actively find a cure. 

“Today, the ratio of kids with food allergies is one in 12. By 2020, it’s projected to be one in five,” says Bates. “There are 17 million children in the U.S. with food allergies, and the National Institute of Health provides $37 million in funding.” 

Bates and Hall, who both have impressive backgrounds in high-level sales and strategic marketing, put their heads together to make a difference, with one thought in mind: “If we don’t do it, who will?”

In May 2015, the two officially launched E.A.T. or End Allergies Together, with the intent of accelerating the pace of research toward solutions. To that end, the organization commits 100 percent of net proceeds directly to carefully vetted research initiatives. 

“To get a study to the clinical phase, the NIH estimates it takes $1 million to go through the grant process,” Bates says. “There are so many active studies—multi-allergen, single allergen, desensitization, peanut patch research, new delivery systems, studies on bacteria in the gut, Eastern medicine, and herbal remedies—with all of those going on, the numbers get big.”

When Hall’s daughter participated in one food challenge study, the numbers became clear. “Over two years ago Lindsay was invited to potentially participate in a multi-allergen desensitization clinical study for 60 children at Stanford Hospital,” says Hall. While visiting the Sean Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford, Kim learned that they needed to raise $4.5 million to fund the study. “How much, then, does it cost to cover all of the scenarios?” 

Hall and Bates estimate the current food-allergy research-funding gap to be over $400 million. To tackle the challenge, they have built an E.A.T. advisory team made up of scientists and physicians who are leaders in the field but who are not running their own studies, and therefore are not looking for funding. With their objective guidance throughout a very deliberate review process, E.A.T. will award grants to fund the most promising research. 

“We plan to give all of the proceeds from a calendar year away during that same year so that donations will have an immediate impact,” Bates says. “If we have money, let’s put it to work. Us sitting on it doesn’t do anything.”

The genesis of the organization’s name and brand identity is interesting as well as meaningful. The acronym—E.A.T.—was the brainchild of local cartoonist, creative thinker, and teacher Sean Kelly. “The stories Elise and Kim told me were heartbreaking. Millions of children with allergies are unable to safely engage in the most fundamental human activity: eating,” says Kelly. “So, I realized that the name could be one that gave a sense of hope. We wanted kids to know that it would be safe to eat. It then became a declaration: EAT!” It’s a dramatic slogan emblazoned on hats and T-shirts, and Bates and Hall zeroed-in on orange as the hue E.A.T could use as its signature color. 

“When it comes to testing,” Hall says simply, “Researchers need to be in the lab, not out raising their own funds.” 

 

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September 2018

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Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 120-333-25052
Contact Name: Robin Zella

More information

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Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

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Where:
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1 Museum Dr
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A series of graphic novel-style panels designed by illustrator Kirk Manley tells the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the...

Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Housatonic Museum of Art presents a new exhibition, “Drip Drop, Tick Tock” by regional artist, Joseph Fucigna. The show focuses on sculptures from the on-going Plastic Fencing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Housantonic Community College
900 Lafayette Blvd.
Bridgeport, CT  06604
View map »


Telephone: 120-333-25052
Contact Name: Robin Zella

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

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Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

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View map »


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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
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View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
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Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
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View map »


Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Housatonic Museum of Art presents a new exhibition, “Drip Drop, Tick Tock” by regional artist, Joseph Fucigna. The show focuses on sculptures from the on-going Plastic Fencing...

Cost: Free

Where:
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900 Lafayette Blvd.
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View map »


Telephone: 120-333-25052
Contact Name: Robin Zella

More information

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View map »


Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: 877-987-8764
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Open during regular Library hours Paradise [Lost] features a collection of color photographs by Árpád Krizsán, Best in Show winner of Pequot Library's 2017 Art Show....

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
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720 Pequot Avenue
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View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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View map »


Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
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Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
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A series of graphic novel-style panels designed by illustrator Kirk Manley tells the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the...

Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
Fairfield, CT  06824
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In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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The Housatonic Museum of Art presents a new exhibition, “Drip Drop, Tick Tock” by regional artist, Joseph Fucigna. The show focuses on sculptures from the on-going Plastic Fencing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Housantonic Community College
900 Lafayette Blvd.
Bridgeport, CT  06604
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Telephone: 120-333-25052
Contact Name: Robin Zella

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Formed in 1963 in Stamford, CT, The Fifth Estate was a central part of the garage rock movement. Remember NBC's 'Hullabaloo'? They performed their crackin' song 'I Just...

Cost: $28

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company at StageOne
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Open during regular Library hours Paradise [Lost] features a collection of color photographs by Árpád Krizsán, Best in Show winner of Pequot Library's 2017 Art Show....

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
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Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
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Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, an engaging and thought-provoking look at the unexpected subject of tools, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, from September...

Cost: Members and students with ID free. $10-$25

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 2034136735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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