Allergies on the Red Carpet! Allergy-safe lunch and travel kits will be shared with Celebrities at the Academy Awards!

Local women heading to the Academy Awards

Local women heading to the Academy Awards. Crystal Paulitzki (right) and Nicole McMullen of NFYC (Nutrition for Your Condition) display a sampling of the lunch bags they will be taking to L.A. in February 2011, to be used as part of the goodie bags for Oscar recipients. Ted Brown
Two local women will be in Los Angeles schmoozing with the Hollywood stars and getting some valuable exposure for their company’s products in February.
Crystal Paulitzki and Nicole McMullen, owners of Nutrition for your Condition, will be taking part in the Secret Room Events Academy Awards Red Carpet Style Lounge Feb. 26 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Oscar nominees and other celebrities, musicians, directors etc. will be invited to visit the lounge to get their gowns, jewelry, spa services and drop by an exclusive trade-type show featuring booths from approximately 20 different companies including Paulitzki’s and McMullen’s to check out their products.
The women launched their company in 2009 selling travel kits for families that have children with severe or life threatening allergies. They have expanded their product line, which now also includes their eco-friendly litter-less lunch kits, selling them online at, some retailers, school fundraisers and trade shows in the GTA.
Amy Boatwright, an owner of Secret Room Events, said Nutrition for Your Condition, was invited to exhibit at the Red Carpet Style Lounge after she found it on the Internet.
“I was searching Google for new and different products and found that their product line was different,” said Boatwright. “A lot of celebrities have children, so kids’ products are very popular.”
Many of them are also interested in the environment. Boatwright thought the Georgetown women’s products, including their litter-less lunch bag, were different and “liked their idea”.
So she sent the company an e-mail. Paulitzki said she didn’t know what to make of the e-mail and initially ignored it suspecting it might be junk mail, until they researched a little further and discovered the offer was a legitimate opportunity for them.
They’re both excited to be taking part.
“We feel it’s going to be an amazing opportunity to promote our business and showcase a product that’s needed in the marketplace right now.”
And meeting some celebrities is a plus.
“It’s right up our alley,” joked Paulitzki. “We’re very excited about meeting the stars,” she added.
Boatwright said the Georgetown company will be announced in press releases promoting the event, and the women will have the opportunity to show their products to the celebrities and give them to those they want to.
Boatwright said the ideal outcome would be for Paulitzki and McMullen to see their product featured in a publication like OK magazine for example in the hand of the child of a celebrity.
She welcomes inquiries from other Canadian companies interested in having their products included in this Style Lounge or other events. Contact


In response to the appeal from Anaphylaxis Canada, I am asking allergy moms, dads and advocates to please contact Minister Aglukkaq immediately regarding the need to pass the proposed food labeling regulations.  I tried to contact his office today by phone but was referred to email by reception.  The email address is:
If this is not done by the end of the month, we will have to start all over again!

This appeal from Anaphylaxis Canada:

Dear Registrant,

As you know Anaphylaxis Canada, together with other members of the allergy community, have been actively lobbying the federal government and the Ministry of Health to act on the proposed food labelling regulations. These regulations were first put forth in July 2008 and have still not been passed.

Thank you to all of you who have written to the Prime Minister's office and the Health Minister as part of our campaign. However, we still need your help. To date, we have not received reassurance from Health Minister Aglukkaq that these regulations will be passed as promised and this is not acceptable.

We encourage you to act today and ask Health Minister Aglukkaq when these regulations will be passed. "As soon as possible" is not an acceptable answer.

Here's what you can do:

· Call the Health Minister's office directly at 1-613-957-0200 AND
· Join the letter writing campaign on the Allergic Living website:

Accurate and clear food labelling is such a critical part of keeping allergic individuals safe. Help Health Minister Aglukkaq understand she needs to do her part and take action today!

Thank you for your help.


Anaphylaxis Canada

My letter to MPs to gain support for Motion 546

Today, December 7th, my letter to MPs was shared in the House of Commons by Debbie Bruce to gain support for Motion 546. It was an honour to know that my daughter's story would be shared in hopes of shedding some light on the realities of anaphylaxis for our children.  I thought I would share my letter here:

Dear Mr Szabo,
I am writing to you to bring to your awareness a motion (#546) that will be presented at the House of Commons this Fall.
*Motion 546 reads:
That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.
I am requesting your support for this Motion. At 9 months of age, my daughter was diagnosed with anaphylactic allergies to milk (including all dairy products, milk, cheese, etc), eggs, tree nuts and peanuts.  As an infant she was exposed to these allergens through nursing because I was ingesting these foods.  Her skin was raw with eczema and she would break out into hives after nursing.  The doctors did not identify the allergies immediately but after a severe reaction that landed us in the emergency room, she was diagnosed by skin testing. 

Our daughter is now 4 years old and the impact of these allergies on our daily life is immense.  The anxiety that it causes our family and the accommodations that we make on a daily basis are challenging. Our daughter had a near death reaction shortly before her 3rd birthday after ingesting one bite of a food that had tree nuts in it.  I was driving in the car when she began to react with sneezing and then passing out.  I pulled over and called 9-1-1.  She began vomiting.  When the ambulance finally arrived, the attendants were not knowledgeable about food allergies and anaphylaxis.  They advised me to take my daughter home and to give her some benadryl if I was concerned. I questioned them regarding her fainting and if that should be a cause for concern.  They told me that fainting is not a symptom of an anaphylactic reaction.  I mentioned that I had read that a dramatic drop in blood pressure can result from the anaphylactic response and so they agreed to take her into the ambulance for assessment.  Once we were in the back of the truck, she began to pass out again and they decided that in fact, she should be transported to hospital.  They insisted that I drive my own car and would not allow me to travel with her in the back. So I followed behind, and upon arriving at the hospital, the ambulance driver rolled down his window and told me to park the car in the parking garage and meet them inside.  By the time I parked 4 stories up and made my way to the Emergency ward (assuming all must be fine as the Ambulance driver was so calm), my daughter was in acute resuscitation.  I had nurses yelling at me for not administering the epi-pen and I was shocked because the ambulance attendants had told me to take her home.  You would not have believed the sight before you to look at how my daughter had deteriorated over the course of that ambulance ride.  When I saw her in the E.R. she looked like she had been in a boxing ring with Mike Tyson.  Her face was bright red and swollen, with eyes completely swollen shut like she had been beaten.  Her armpits and groin were covered in hives that she had scratched raw while in the ambulance.  Her voice was hoarse and her breathing laboured. It was the most frightening experience to see my child in that state....and all from one bite of a food that she is allergic to. 

I think it is so important to raise awareness to the real medical issue that anaphylaxis represents for Canadians.  We need to teach the public, educators and the medical community how to recognize, diagnose and respond to these reactions. We need to spread awareness that anaphylaxis does not just mean uncomfortable gastrointestinal upset or itchy hives, it can mean a life-threatening drop in blood pressure that can result in heart attack or a swelling of the airway that can cause the child to stop breathing. 

I have had incidents flying with Air Canada, where my daughter reacted to cross-contamination from touching the movie screen and the chair handles. You can imagine how terrifying it is to know that an epi-pen may only work for 5-20 minutes and you are up in the air with your child wondering if the plane would be able to land in time if there was an anaphylactic emergency. 

I recently paid $350 for lab tests that are not covered (RAST blood testing) only to find out that the results are inconclusive and not predictive of future reactions!

I have been amazed at the lack of education that doctors, nurses and ambulance attendees have had.

The facts are clear that allergies and anaphylaxis are increasing at an alarming rate in our country.

I hope that you will share in my passion for raising awareness of Anaphylaxis at the federal level.

Thank you so much for your time.


Melissa Pearson

What next? I am anxiously awaiting news to see how the motion was supported and will post as soon as I know more.  In the meantime, please see my post on contacting the Canadian Health Minister to help get important food labeling regulations passed before the end of the year.  We need your help to accomplish this!