As some of you may know, about a year ago Angie and I moved to New Haven, MI - about 30 miles northeast of Detroit. In the past year, we've met a lot of great neighbors and one of them has a very unique story. The couple who live across the street from us have a son named Elliott who is battling two extremely rare conditions. First, he has what's called "FPIES" which essentially means he has an allergic reaction any time he ingests proteins found in food. Problem is - the protein is found in almost everything so he's really limited on what he could theoretically eat. But the suckerpunch is the poor guy also has what's called Mast Cell Activation which means that as if FPIES wasn't enough, everything else that's protein free and he should be able to eat ... he has an allergic reaction to as well.
For you parents out there, imagine if your child was allergic to virtually everything he puts in his mouth. Earlier in the year, Elliott picked a little piece of paper up off the floor and ate it - his reaction was so severe they had to call the ambulance to rush him to the hospital. The only thing he CAN "eat" is water and breastmilk - and even then, his mom has to be on a strict diet to ensure the milk is safe for him.
While our previous charities are no doubt deserving, I believe the International FPIES Foundation really needs our support this year. They're trying to raise $150,000 this year and I really think we can help get them there -- even if it's only a little bit. I'll be doing what I can to try and drum up more opportunities to raise money at the 2017 Meet & Greet, so please be sure and bring your wallets and credit cards!
To hear more about Elliott's story, here's a <5 minute segment which aired last night on WDIV last night. I warn you though - at least for me - it will choke you up.
For more information on FPIES, including what it stands for because it always eludes me LOL, visit http://www.fpies.org/