The May Contain Break the Stigma campaign empowers young people to speak up about their allergies and feel confident addressing them throughout their lives. The campaign features inspiring allergy advocates from TV, theatre, sport, and news.
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Daniel Kelly, 27, founded May Contain, an allergy awareness and lifestyle platform, in 2018, and wanted to create a campaign to highlight the problems people face when diagnosed with an allergy:
“I have lived with a severe nut allergy since the age of five, I understand first hand how getting diagnosed with an allergy can change your life. It can be really scary speaking up about your allergy when you meet new people and friends, but overtime I now feel much more confident speaking up about it in restaurants”
A 2018 study from The Food Standards Agency showed that only 56% of young people with a food allergy reported telling others when eating out.
Love Island star and TV personality Jack Fowler who lives with a severe nut allergy knows first hand about the importance of speaking up, having experienced anaphylaxis in the past:
“It is important for young people to talk about their allergies because a lot of them feel embarrassed, especially going through different stages of life like University and mixing with different and new people.”
“It was important for me to get involved in this campaign because I’m someone who has an allergy and it’s difficult at times, but I found it more easier the more I spoke about it and found out that a lot more people have allergies just like me.
Jack shared a picture of himself in hospital due to anaphylaxis shock back in October 2018.
“When I put the picture up of myself in hospital after my anaphylaxis reaction, I got a lot of feedback and I was kind of surprised. I didn’t expect so many people to be able to relate to me and maybe that’s because there are not enough people talk about it. It was massively important to tell everyone about it so more people could speak up about their own experiences.”
The Break the Stigma campaign also features advocates who are currently navigating childhood and teenage years with allergies too.
Callum Newman, 9, lives with 28 different allergies including nuts, dairy and shellfish but won’t let them hold him back and wants other children to feel as confident as he is, he said:
“I’ve had lots of allergies ever since I was little, 28 in total, which is a lot, but I don’t let them stop me from doing things like football, playing with friends, eating out (when we’re allowed to)! It’s important that I can still do everything my friends do, I just make sure I take my medipack that has my EpiPens, antihistamine and inhaler with me everywhere and ask lots of questions so I stay
Daniel is using his platform May Contain and his role as Youth Ambassador for the Anaphylaxis Campaign to educate and empower the many young people around the world living with allergies, but to instill in them a confidence that they are not defined by it. They are more. They can break the stigma.
Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said: “Dan Kelly has been involved with the Anaphylaxis Campaign since his childhood and continues to be an inspiring influence for young people affected by severe allergy. We proudly welcomed Dan as our Youth Ambassador earlier this year to help us respond to the increasing demand for support for young people who are most at risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. We support Dan’s new campaign #BreakTheStigma and hope it will help open up the conversation on allergy.”