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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Villager of the Month - Jen

The Villager of the Month accolade goes to a person or group that has done something interesting or special for those with allergies.

This month's winner is our neighbour, Jen. Our daughter was invited to her son's first birthday. A few weeks before the party Jen proactively reached out to ask for our Wacky Cake recipe. She then went a step further and told all of the other parents that there would be an allergic child at the birthday party and to avoid bringing peanut snacks.

How incredibly thoughtful!

Jen made four chocolate Wacky Cakes and as always, they were moist and flavourful. These cakes are hardly a sacrifice for anybody and are very helpful for those with severe food allergies. The cake was a hit with our daughter. I think she ate five pieces, though much of the cake seemed to be smeared on her face and her dress!

Just as the party was winding down, an incredible thing happened.

I was speaking with one of Jen's friends and I mentioned that the cake was nut and egg free. It turns out that she has anaphylaxis to peanut! She was very happy to learn that she could actually enjoy the cake with the rest of us.

This was a rare treat for Jen's friend and it was also a pleasant surprise for Jen as she was not aware of her friend's allergy. Consider it allergy karma! You just never know who is going to have an allergy in your circle of friends.

Other parents could really learn from Jen. She simply asked for a cake recipe, advised other parents to bring peanut-free snacks and ensured that whatever else she served was peanut free. She did not fear the allergy. She did not make us feel like she had to go out of her way. As a result we never felt like we were an inconvenience.

Though I did have to be careful of a few egg items on the buffet style party spread, our daughter was really just there to play with the other kids and to eat chocolate cake!

It Takes a Village to manage an allergy! Jen set a great example for parents looking to accommodate children with food allergies.


Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

That's awesome. It's so great to have friends like that. I'm glad your daughter was able to go and enjoy cake!! People who don't deal with allergies don't realize how special that is.

Jen said...

I just want to say thanks for honouring me with villager of the month. I have to admit that I don't feel like I did anything special. It certainly wasn't any extra work. I just wanted to make sure that all of my son's friends could attend his party and have fun - including his favourite neighbour! Also, there were quite a few one-year-olds there who may not know if they have allergies yet.

The wacky cake was a big hit - it is now our official birthday cake!

Thanks again - I am touched...