Buddy Program Coordinator volunteer - Dawn Heim
Dawn and her husband Rob started coming to FASGMN meetings after her son had a severe reaction in 2008. Since then, they have regulary come to meetings and Dawn has volunteered as a Buddy Guide and at many events. Their older son is starting Kindergarden and has allergies to gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs and her youngest son is allergic to milk. She believes the Buddy Program is a wonderful way for new or existing members to receive valuable insight and guidance from more experienced members of the group. Dawn looks forward to helping members make these valuable connections. Dawn works in Human Resources at a Financial Services company in Minneapolis.
Newsletter Coordinator volunteer- Sara Wiplinger
Sara joined FASGMN after her son was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, and soy at 8 months of age, in addition to sensitivities to oats and rice. With no prior experience with food allergies, Sara and her son were both losing weight while trying to live under the new strict diets prescribed by their first allergist. A second allergist not only brought much more hope, but also introduced them to the FASGMN. Sara hopes to help better inform other families that encounter allergies by publishing the FASGMN newsletter.
Y.E.S. Program Co-Coordinator volunteer- Kaia Mahlke
Kaia started attending FASGMN meetings shortly after her son was diagnosed with food allergies at 1 year old. He is now in 4th grade and is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and several legumes. She has a 5 year old daughter with no known allergies. Finding support and guidance while trying to navigate all the various stages with food allergies has been so important as a parent. Kaia believes it is equally important for our kids to have support. That's why she is happy to work with the Y.E.S. program to help kids with food allergies connect with each other. Kaia has a background in clinical psychology.
Y.E.S. Program Co-Coordinator volunteer- Alba Chester
Alba has been participating in FASGM programs and events since 2010. Her interest and involvement with food allergies started when her oldest son was 15 months and was diagnosed with food and environmental allergies. She has three boys, all with severe food allergies. All of them have an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts and between them they also have allergies to dairy, soy, eggs, shellfish and legumes. Her youngest son also has asthma. Alba has a special interest in raising awareness about food allergies and creating a network for children with food allergies so they can meet other kids like themselves and have fun in a safe food free environment. Alba is originally from Puerto Rico and has a background in finance and corporate management. For the last 10 years she has been a stay at home mom to her wonderful boys.
Y.E.S. Program Nurse volunteer - Tracy Olmscheid
Tracy's interest in food allergies stems from having a son with a peanut allergy and probable asthma and from a career as a pediatric nurse. Her son recently started school, which brought about a whole new level of dealing with potential allergens and training non-family members in responding to allergic reactions. Tracy is currently in graduate school to be a nurse anesthetist and hopes to continue to work with children in that role.
Webinar Program Coordinator volunteer- Shawn Heller
Shawn joined FASGMN in 2011 after his daughter was diagnosed with milk, egg and peanut allergies at 12 months old. It is important for his home to be free of allergens so his daughter has a safe place to open any cupboard and not be afraid of anything. As a result, the whole family eats healthier since every food label is read and exhaustingly analyzed. Shawn works for RedBrick Health and has a background in software development and marketing.
New Member Welcome Packet volunteer - Allison Nahr
Allison has been a part of FASGMN since 2007, when her son was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, sesame, sunflower and coconut just days before his second birthday.
She found the sincere welcome offered through FASGMN to be one of the most important sources of strength she had in facing a new life with food allergies. Allison wants to keep that initial welcome solid and helpful, so it was a natural fit for her to be the one to send out new member packets each month. She has also coordinated past group outings to the Saints games. Allison serves as the Director of Christian Formation at Plymouth Presbyterian Church, and has a passion for working with teenagers.