Parents Having Allergic Children Team (PHACT) was created in 2004 by Joann DiDavide. She started PHACT out of frustration and isolation. She was frustrated by the lack of information there was on raising a child who has food allergies and felt isolated not knowing another parent who had a food allergic child but knew there had to be a lot of parents out there just like her. She wanted to start a group where parents of children having food allergies could get together, talk about their concerns/question/fears or even do something as simple as exchange recipes. PHACT began as a Yahoo group with Moms Night Out to dinner to make connections with others, share experiences, and support.
In 2006, Jenine Lawton became the leader of the group. Jenine has 2 children with life threatening multiple food allergies. Her background is in education. She conducts food allergy trainings for local preschools and school districts according to the CARE paradigm (Comprehend the Basic Medical Facts, Avoid the Allergen, Recognize a Reaction, Enact Emergency Treatment Plan).
PHACT started small but has grown with the addition of our Facebook page as well as formal meetings 4-5 times a year. We have continued the tradition of Moms Night Out on the months that we don't have a formal meeting. Each summer, there is an outing to the Reading Phillies Peanut Free Game night. In 2013, in conjunction with FEAST of the Main Line (a "sister" food allergy support group), PHACT was part of the first Feel Good Forum for children with food allergies and their siblings.
PHACT is recognized by FARE (www.foodallergy.org), AAFA/KFA (www.kidswithfoodallergies.org), and FAACT (www.foodallergyawareness.org). We have participated in the FARE Walk for food allergies to help raise awareness about food allergies as well as money toward research and education. We also have participated in the KFA Strides for Safe Kids Mall Walk and Expo which is an opportunity to once again raise awareness, make new friendships and raise money toward education and programs to support the food allergy community.
Our goals for PHACT: