The Hamilton Spectator-Article Re One of Our Member\'s Children In To-Day!

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2001 - 5:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pIn to-day's edition of The Hamilton Spectator, the front section of the Food Section has an article re food allergies which includes an article about one of our member's children. As far as we know, it is not on-line./p
pIf anyone is actually able to get a "hard" copy of the paper, I strongly urge you to because it is supposed to be quite a good story./p
pFor anyone else that would like to try to get an on-line link, as we tried a couple of months ago, with my son's article, please e-mail The Hamilton Spectator in Hamilton, Ontario. The article was written by Lesley Simpson. I know when I first heard the article was coming out, I did e-mail the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper to ask her if she would provide an on-line link when the article came out. I'll have to re e-mail her./p
pMany thanks and best wishes! [img][/img]/p

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2001 - 7:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Thank heaven! This not so savvy at providing website link person found it! Please go to [url=""][/url] It will bring up the home page and what articles are highlighted for the day, of which the one I mentioned is not one of them.
However, scroll down to the bottom and where you can search the contents of The Hamilton Spectator, put in the Life section (not Food) and click on Go. It automatically brings up the story! Now, I have to go back to read it and also let the Mom know it's on-line in case she missed it.
I am so pleased! [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 05/09/2001 - 8:14am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

You'll have to forgive me. As you all know, I don't do the website link thing very well at all. However, here it is, the link to the actual article. I have read it and it is excellent!

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2001 - 2:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Usually when I post about an article re one of our children, I get some sort of response and in this case, obviously it wouldn't be response for me, but for the parent and her child's story. I think it may have helped if I had posted that the article is about PeanutTrace's daughter. It is really good.
It also shows what can be done with a blanket school board policy in Ontario, which I think is pretty terrific.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2001 - 11:38pm
PeanutTrace's picture
Joined: 03/14/2001 - 09:00

Thanks Cindy: When I originally told Cindy about the article I didn't think that you could access the article on-line. Cindy found it on their site, so thanks Cindy. I was able to send it off to family and friends via email. ...and I know that Cindy emailed it already to many of you.
I was actually somewhat disappointed with the article. When we were working with the reporter I had stressed time and time again that I didn't want this to be a "feel sorry for us" kind of an article, because that is just not how we live our lives. I was hoping that it would be a look at how great we are doing article. I'm not sure that that happened. There was definitely some newspaper drama with the story of her eating her cucumbers alone, the word "kill" was used way too many times for me to ever be able to read the article to my daughter and a miss quote with the steroyl-2-lactylate which I said is an ingredient that can possibly be diary derived and one you must call the manufacturer about. I was disappointed that the point of poor labelling practices was dismissed by the canadian anaphylaxis representative especially because of recent FDA findings, and I know the cfia isn't too far ahead. I know because we live it, this past year, we have had 3 accidental exposures directly related to poor labelling practices.
The good that came from the article; I have had many relatives calling and emailing me telling me what a great article it was, telling me how much they learned and that they didn't really realize the seriousness of Morgan's allergies. I've only been trying to bonk them over the head with it for the past 5 years, but somehow reading it in the paper has been their way of finally fully understanding what we are dealing with. Another good from the article, a mom with a little guy ready for school next year contacted the spectator to get in touch with me. Her son had similar allergies and we were able to share ideas and I passed our school plan on to her.
My final critique of doing the article, is that I will never do it again. I am not devestated by the article it was actually quite informative but I feel like you are at the total mercy of the reporter once you decide to do an article like this. For us, Morgan is 5 and she really was excited to see her picture in the paper, but I don't want to do this again when she is older and understands so much more. For now, the article will be old news in a week tucked away until she's 18!

Posted on: Sat, 05/12/2001 - 4:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

PeanutTrace, I understand exactly what you're saying about being at the mercy of the reporter. In the case of the article that was done re Jesse, I had actually submitted my Canadian Parents online article to the newspaper and asked them to publish that. Then, I had a call from a "real" reporter who said she had been assigned to follow-up on my letter (nothing like putting me in my place!).
I actually found that I didn't really "work" with the woman at all. She spoke with me on the telephone once, asking me a few questions and that was it. When the article came out, I was actually extremely angry. I had to contact the newspaper to see what the heck had happened to the article because I had noticed that the reporter who was doing the story, her by-line had disappeared from the paper. There were mistakes made in the article and even mis-quotes. I'm sure that Jesse's principal especially, who had wanted the article done in the first place for "her school community" was extremely disappointed that the school's name wasn't even mentioned, especially since Jesse's picture was taken at the school.
I know that when I posted all of this, Philip's Mom did respond and basically said that once you speak with someone, it's really up to them what happens with the information.
I had been surprised that I had never been contacted re a finished article and looking at it before it was published.
PeanutTrace, I understand why you personally feel disappointed. You had wanted your story to come across differently.
It is good to hear that family and friends are actually calling you re your daughter's food allergies now that they have seen it in the newspaper! I actually find that kinda sad (but then remember I'm on a negative family feeling thing right now anyway), but at least they're doing it.
And again, I must say that it does show people in Ontario that if you are able to fine tooth comb your blanket school board policy, you can get a lot implemented, which you have.
I think I probably have the same feeling you do, that I've done this once, while Jesse was young (5 like Morgan) and I probably won't do it again. He felt okay about the article being done and his picture being taken (remember he doesn't like attention unless he draws it to himself), but the article ended up coming out during March break so he didn't have to deal with any comments at school at all. I think most of the people missed it, and I actually didn't mind.
Anyway, PeanutTrace, you tried. That's all of the solace I can offer you. You did try.
Don't you just wish you could write the article yourself? I think it's positive that you did try because I know a lot of people that have responded to the article to me personally and especially want to use the article when dealing with their respective schools, even in the U.S.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 05/12/2001 - 7:45pm
williamsmummy's picture
Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

hello peanuttrace and cindy,
what advice would you give me regarding appearing on tv ?
l have just agreed to talk to a tv company making a program on allergys. for a start they plan to interview me when william is at school,then take a few "shots" of him later after school. now apart from the fact that they want to interveiw me in my home( oh my the mess quick , tidy up everyone now!!!)
l am worried that it will become just a scare story like you see so many times in the news. on the one hand l want to get accross the fact that allergys can affect every aspect of family life etc, the stress
involved, the lack of help or the fact that many gps, health visitors know very little about allergys. l know that as william is 5 now he is still young enough not to be too afected if it becomes a huge embarresment.
but l desparatly want to have the chance to spread understanding of allergys so that even if god willing williams allergys lesson(hey l can hope? cant i) it might just make the furture for the children now,who grow up in a more inlighted world re allegy .
so any more tips, or do you recomend not doing it ?
this has all come in the week running up to organising the stall at our local carnival, a stange photographer from a local paper who wanted william to hold peanuts while he took the photos... (see off topic) the washing machine has begun to jump around the foor in some sort of dying dance and the 2 year old has drawn on the bathroom walls...
feeling a wee bit stressed bye williamsmummy

Posted on: Sun, 05/13/2001 - 12:25pm
JoannaG's picture
Joined: 04/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi everyone,
Williamsmummy, my daughter and I were interviewed just a week or so ago by local TV, a sort of news magazine show and their topic for the day was allergies; they wanted about 3 minutes on how a family copes when there are life-threatening allergies. I don't watch this particular station, so didn't really know what their style was.
Like you I wanted to help raise awareness so said yes and then worried about it going wrong. They sent a videographer who came with prepared questions and I did ask the producer beforehand exactly what the questions would be, so I could think things through a bit.
It was all done at our home (yes, mad rush to tidy up before the 7:30 a.m.!!!! interview) nothing at school.
It took about 45 minutes altogether and there were no surprise questions, except for some that came up as we talked so they weren't really surprises. One tip I'd been given: you can have some control in this e.g. you don't have to give a direct answer to the question you're asked, you can negotiate if you'd like them to rephrase it, or you can just use the question as a jumping-off point for the message you want to deliver. (Maybe this is obvious to you, but for me with zero media experience it was a new idea.)
The video guy was very pleasant and patient and we redid a few bits several times. At one point he asked me if there was anything else I wanted to talk about; I thought of a couple of things but wished I written any kind of list. So williamsmummy, if your interviewer doesn't ask the questions you want to answer, maybe you could bring them up yourself.
I wasn't exactly comfortable in front of the camera but I did feel I had a good chance to put my message out. My daughter did very well (she is 12 and when I consulted her about doing this, she was very much in favour). Still, I didn't tell anyone when it was going to be on because I wasn't sure it would be good.
Somewhat to my surprise it was quite good (once I got over the shock of seeing myself AUGGGH Mom needs a makeover NOW). I feared them turning it into sensationalism or "poor us" and during the taping tried just to be very matter-of-fact and this-is-our-life-now, even when talking about the stress. I think it came out all right, in fact the whole hour was good and I did write to let them know what I thought.
So I don't know if this will help you at all williamsmummy, as cindy and peanuttrace say, you do take a chance with journalists; I hope you will go ahead with it because you sound as though you would be such a good spokesperson. On the other hand with your stall at the carnival you are already doing a lot to increase awareness and help develop people's understanding, so no-one on earth would blame you for not wanting to be on TV (telly?) as well.
Good luck, whatever you decide.

Posted on: Sun, 05/13/2001 - 3:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Williamsmummy, I would definitely do the TV interview. Of course, I'm saying this because it's you that's going to be on the telly and not me and it's your home that needs the quick clean and not mine. But, no, I think this is a wonderful opportunity. Despite what both PeanutTrace and I said about print articles, I think the TV thing may be totally different. Also, you might want to contact Katiee who posts here who recently was interviewed for TV also.
As JoannaG. pointed out, you are already doing an immense amount of work with this, so if you feel as though it would be too much of a burden, that's a totally different thing.
But, I truly believe the more people that see just normal, regular families dealing with food allergies, the more likely the general public is to become more aware and more able to "get" where we're coming from.
I would go for it! Please let us know what you decide.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 05/13/2001 - 10:35pm
williamsmummy's picture
Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

hello, thanks for the advice, they have just e-mailed me with a few simple questions they are going to ask,
when did you discover his allergys?
how does it affect our daily lives?(Well how do l begin on that one !)
what precautions do you take ?
will his allergys get better? (well, yes to one who knows with peanuts !)
well lve decided to go ahead with it and will let you know , my husband wasnt bothered when l told him his only comment was that its a good time to clean the carpet, huh? and so l reminded him that l want more wooden flooring to combat dust mite etc. so as he thinks its ok , l will do it. l will let you know how its goes have decided not to tell anyone outside family in case it all goes pear shape! will take on board all the adivce you have givern me. ohh doesnt morgan have a big twinkle in her eyes l bet shes a right cheeky monkey!! lots of love ,williamsmummy, by the way how do you lose 3 stone before thursday?

Posted on: Mon, 05/14/2001 - 2:42am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Peanut Trace,
While I totally understand where your negative feelings towards the article are coming from, be assured that to the outside reader it is a powerful, informative article that really puts a human face on what we are up against.
Cindy, thanks for the heads up (and I am very enouraged by your bourgening web-savvy; perhaps there is even hope for me!).


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