FACTS Support Group Wins Ruthie T. Cornell Award
A high point of the Allergy Advocacy Association’s Awards Gala was the presentation of the first Ruthie T. Cornell Award to the Food Allergies Coping Teaching Supporting (FACTS) organization. Founded in 2003 by Joy Leinenbach, the organization has worked tirelessly to support families who have children with severe allergies. Guest speakers are invited to their bi-monthly meetings, and Joy and other members give presentations throughout the community to bus drivers, restaurant workers, and teachers and administrators. But their main goal is to offer support to families and to learn from each other. Keep up the great work!
November 15th, 2018
Food Allergies Coping Teaching Supporting (FACTS), a family food allergy and anaphylaxis support group, was awarded the Ruth T. Cornell Award by the Allergy Advocacy Association at their very first Allergy Action Awards ceremony. The gala was held at the ARTISANworks exhibit and entertainment space in Rochester, NY. Classical music DJ and Rochester radio VIP Brenda Tremblay presided as the MC. Jon Terry, founder of the association and an active member of FACTS, acted as host and presented the award.
The award is presented for Outstanding Community Advocacy and Education by an individual or group of individuals who have significantly advanced awareness, alertness and action at the community level through a sustained commitment to advocacy and education.
Accepting for FACTS were Amy Wagner and Joy Leinenbach, both having children with life-threatening food allergies. It was Joy who first co-founded FACTS in 2003 with another mother with a severely allergic child.
“I cannot believe it’s been 16 years,” says Joy. “We had 7 people at our first meeting, so when we have meetings now with 30 or 40 people it’s amazing. At the beginning we were surprised it even lasted a year!” Not only has it lasted but it has thrived. FACTS now has nearly 100 member families. They hold meetings bi-monthly, often with speakers such as: nutritionists, allergists, psychotherapists and the Monroe County Health Commissioner.
Since 2005 Joy has also put her background as a teacher to use by giving presentations with other FACTS members to groups ranging from restaurant workers to teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and students themselves about the dangers of food allergies.
FACTS is an outstanding example of how a diverse group of people can effectively join together providing emotional support and life experiences to help each other.
The Allergy Advocacy Association is very proud to be an active member of FACTS in assisting families with life-threatening allergies residing in western New York. It is entirely fitting that the "Ruth T. Cornell Award" be presented to FACTS as an outstanding example of community education and engagement to prevent attacks of anaphylaxis.
If you are interested in attending the next meeting of FACTS, please see the information listed below:
When: Saturday, January 19th from 10 am – noon
Where: Fairport United Methodist Church
31 West Church Street, Fairport, NY 14450
Contact: Joy Leinenbach, co-founder