El's Eczema and Food Allergies:
How our strong, brave, beautiful girl and her tortured skin brought me here today to share awareness, advocacy and support.
From mild to severe eczema, million’s of people suffer with this disease across the world. Yet, all I ever really knew was that it was ‘dry skin’. Oh, how naive I was. When things do not directly affect you, you do not necessarily know you don’t understand it, until you have no choice but to.
Awareness is the knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists. The more knowledge we share, the more there is to learn and understand, the deeper impact we can have on the worlds awareness.
Awareness does more than educate, it impacts and inspire others to create greater change. The process of awareness will also, unfortunately, break relationships. This was a stark and sudden reality to me.
We quickly learned that El’s food allergies were also severe skin triggers for her. Not only did we clean out our house of these triggers, we had to be very cautious and careful of all the places we went, from family and friends houses, to restaurants, to stores and playgrounds.
What I was not braced for was the pushback and lack of empathy we received from some people when trying to keep our child safe. After listening to the concerns and rhetoric of others I realized this came from a lack of understanding and knowledge – and sometimes care. To all of those who have been incredible through this, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, more than you know.
I questioned myself for a moment on if I was doing the right thing. Standing up for my child. Just for a moment. Then quickly erased any question of self-doubt or fear of ‘what others would say’ when all I needed to remember was I was advocating for my daughter’s health, and life. Nothing, I mean nothing, can matter more to me than the health and safety of my children. Yet, for a split second I actually questioned my advocacy due to ‘what other people may think’. And, because I did this, I know there are other people out there doing the same thing.
Other people who are unsure. Who do not have a strong support network. Who are just receiving these diagnosis’s for the first time, and don’t know what to do. If you are this person, you are NOT alone and you are NOT a “bad” parent. You are also trying to navigate this new, scary, uncertain world. I promise you though, if you listen to your gut and make keeping your children safe and healthy the priority, you will soon realize you have an incredible support system. And conversely, educating more people than you are ‘letting down’.
We need to emphasize the importance of awareness on this topic – the one life you educate could mean one life saved for someone else – every little bit is impactful!
As I continue to share El’s story and our journey over the last four and half years and where we are headed now, you will find it is intertwined with helpful tips, ‘ah-ha‘ moments, life’s fun and crazy adventures, and general advocacy.
Sharing our story through every day life showcases the real and raw nature of everyday routines and tasks, as well as navigating the challenging events and exciting surprises that are essential parts of living.
Whether subtle or directly impactful, our goal is to spread awareness and helpful tips to ensure all can have a positive experience on their journey through eczema, food allergies and asthma, too.
Here’s to awareness, advocacy and a thriving life!