Elijah’s Echo is a platform for food allergy education and safety awareness that was founded by Thomas Silver and Dina Hawthorne after their son, Elijah-Alavi, passed away following an anaphylactic reaction in early November 2017. Since then, both Thomas and Dina have worked tirelessly to share Elijah’s Echo – his legacy of the importance of food allergy education, awareness and safety. For Father’s Day, we wanted to share Thomas’ words and spread the amazing work that they are doing for food allergy families all over the country, and help share Elijah’s memory.
Sebastin and Elijah and my wife Dina have changed my life significantly. Before I got married and was blessed with two amazing, beautiful boys, I was just stuck in one place in my life. I was very content where I was. Then I met my Dina and she changed how I want to do things for us. Then came Sebastin, and a year and 7 months later, Elijah-Alavi. WOW!! Blessings!!!! These boys made me feel so special and made me feel like I can do anything. I turned my life around, went back to school, graduated with my degree and I’m now on the road to becoming a Physician’s Assistant. I am working in the medical field, so my boys always call me “Daddy Doctor.” I am not a doctor, but the meaning of it meant more to me than anything because of them
I remember when I was told that I was going to be a father I knew my life was about to change and it was no longer about me. Fatherhood is about making unselfish sacrifices for your children and providing an environment that will be safe for them as they grow. Father’s Day means more than the world to me. My boys are my life and my motivation. I know Father’s Day is celebrated once a year but to me, it’s every day. The joy of my two boys brought joy into my heart daily; it was so beautiful. I love playing and reading to them or sneaking late night snacks to them at night when we stayed up a little later than normal. I love waking up in the morning while listening to the sounds of my sons saying, “wake up daddy!” – it’s better than the sunshine.
Being a father with children who suffered/suffer from food allergies was very challenging at first but becoming more familiar with what they were and were not allergic to was so helpful. There were a lot of foods my son Elijah-Alavi was not able to eat: more than 8 fruits, eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, animal protein, onion, corn, shellfish, Alaskan pollock, codfish, and tilapia. And my other son Sebastin is allergic to egg, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and animal protein. After finding out about what they were allergic to, my wife and I removed these items from our home and decided to make all their foods. We would go grocery shopping read every single label in the supermarket to make sure to avoid any allergen, and if we doubted the ingredients, we would put it back. We were like the CIA around our boys trying to make sure nothing comes in their way that may cause any harm, so when it was time to visit family or friends, there were some serious talks to everyone just to keep our boys safe.
Through my experience as a food allergy parent, I know that having severe food allergies can be anxiety-driven and scary for you as a parent, and especially for your child. We need to be on top of all that is there to protect our child from coming in contact with something that can be harmful or fatal. Inform your child’s teachers, after-school programs, lunchroom attendants, friends and family members. Keep everyone well-informed on how to look for sign and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and anaphylaxis. Teach them how to take action so they know how to use an Epipen or auto-injector and to call 911. Make sure to always carry to an auto-injector for precautionary measures. There are many websites out there like FARE, End Allergies Together, FAACT and Asthma and Allergy Network that can educate anyone on severe food allergies as well as provide much other useful information.
There is still so much work that can be done to raise awareness for food allergies. Elijah’s Echo is an initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of anaphylaxis/severe food allergy education and safety, as well as asthma with allergies. Elijah’s Echo was born of the tragic incident that occurred in a New York City Pre-K school/Daycare center on November 3rd, 2017. The incident of which, soon after caused my son Elijah-Alavi to pass away after having an anaphylactic reaction to dairy. Elijah’s Echo and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (soon to come) is working hard on passing a Law called Elijah’s Law Bill #A10031 to protect our young children. Just recently the Department of Health amended a Health Code that will now require all NYC regulated Day Care facility to stock Epinephrine and have all their staff well trained to understand the signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and anaphylaxis and the company Kaleo will be donating 7500 auto-injectors of Auvi-q to these day care facilities. This is what Elijah’s Echo is about. Let’s create and build an awareness as well as putting a name and face to the importance anaphylaxis & food allergy/asthma safety in the inner-city schools/pre-K and daycare centers here in NYC and hopes to continue nationally as well as globally. How can we do this? It starts with you and me. Know the signs. Treat the symptoms. Share Elijah’s story. Continue Elijah’s Echo. #elijahsecho #elijahslaw
To contact Thomas and learn more, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The mission of Elijah’s Echo is one that is very close to our hearts, and we are honored that our products can be a trusted option for individuals with food allergies. We stand behind Thomas and Dina and encourage you to share Elijah’s story and promote food allergy awareness and safety.