One year ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of funding a video on food allergy education in schools…
I remember being so nervous the night before it launched thinking that the campaign might be a huge flop! This DVD was a dream of mine for years after knowing how eager schools were becoming to educate students about food allergies. I wanted this resource to be a reality so badly, but I didn’t know if others would share this passion. If the Kickstarter campaign had failed, I would have likely given up on this dream.
That first morning when the campaign went “live”, I had no time to be nervous. The generous support started rolling in. I couldn’t believe it! Within an hour we were over $3,000 and I was dancing around my kitchen! We reached the initial goal of $20,000 well before the deadline, and added stretch goals to help us reach $30,000. That’s bananas!
That was a wild month filled with so much work – but it was an experience I’ll never forget and loved being able to bring a whole community together to support a common goal.
One year later, the DVD is out, circulating in schools, getting into the hands of distributors, and getting great reviews!
I’m so grateful to the food allergy community for coming together to help me achieve this dream! THANK YOU to all of my backers!
After dealing with food allergies for nearly three decades, I’ve communicated my condition to a wide variety of people and have fine-tuned how I approach the subject with others. At the end of the day, you want to be taken seriously and typically get assurances – such as a safe meal, school policy or a worry-free night with a babysitter in charge.
When having these conversations, and making requests, I generally follow these five tips that help in effective communication and dialogue with others.
- Know your Audience: Are they well-versed in allergy? Are they nervous or over-confident about allergies? Use your best judgment on their level of understanding and their willingness to help.
- Adjust your Tone Accordingly: Depending on your audience, choose a tone that you feel is appropriate. Sometimes a hard-line approach explaining severity is needed for an over-confident waiter, sometimes using humor works when at a dinner party with friends.
- Discover, Don’t Dictate: Everyone knows someone with an allergy and have probably been in situations handling them before. Find out what they know/what they typically do in these situations. If inadequate to you, suggest that you would be more comfortable with an extra precaution. Giving them a voice to start with, makes them an empowered part of the conversation and solution.
- Work with Them, not Against Them: If you feel the situation is hopeless, don’t give up, but don’t burn your bridges. Sometimes the subject of allergies and accommodations may be very new to people, and no obvious solution comes to mind. Offer to help come up with answers, as you likely won’t be the last person they encounter in the same situation.
- Say Thanks: So simple, but so often overlooked. If you have a good conversation and they try hard to understand your needs, thank them for their effort and let them know your appreciation. You have just made that person much more allergy aware and showing your gratitude helps reinforce their new action/attitude. You are changing the world for the better!
Originally blogged at Itchy Little World.
I am so happy to announce that my “Kyle Dine & Friends” allergy awareness DVD is now on Amazon.com!
Getting a DVD on Amazon.com is no easy feat and I wish there was an easy guide to do so…they do a good job at ensuring no pirated films are sold on their site.
Please take a minute and write a review on the Amazon page. Even just a 5-star rating helps boost the customer credibility. I really appreciate your help!
Reblogged from Lauren’s Hope. Enter to win a $50 gift certificate and DVD on their blog.
I have worn a medical ID all of my life and am pretty savvy by now at snapping bracelets on and off. Nothing ever prepared me for the fun that would come with trying to get bracelets on a crew of various sized puppets! That’s exactly the scenario I faced while filming an allergy awareness video for kids!
My cast for Kyle Dine & Friends – Allergy Awareness with Music, Puppets and Games involved 9 puppets and myself. Flimsy foam arms were all over the set with bracelets falling off as puppeteers jolted them in motion. We quickly found the solution for keeping bracelets on their little flimsy wrists – tape!
The end result was perfect: a series of characters flaunting their beautiful medical IDs graciously donated to the project by Lauren’s Hope. One of the main puppet characters is named Suzie, and she sported a really cool beaded bracelet [shown above]. I rocked the paracord bracelet and loved that the smooth fabric didn’t scratch my guitar while playing!
One of the songs in the educational video is called “Cool Bracelet” and is aimed at normalizing food allergies, and the precautions needed such as wearing medical ID. In the video, I explain some of the features of why these bracelets are so cool and that you should look for them if you ever see someone feeling sick or in distress. What other piece of jewelry can help you out in an emergency? Plus look really funky!
Unlike my puppets, I don’t use tape to keep mine one, but I wear mine so much you might be fooled! As someone who has experienced anaphylaxis before, I don’t take the chance with my condition and feel more secure when I’m wearing my medical ID.
I thank Lauren’s Hope for joining me to help spread food allergy awareness!
This has easily been the best week of my life. Early Friday morning, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Zora Josephine Dine was born Oct. 2nd weighing a tiny 6 pounds, 4 ounces.
Our little cutie!
We brought her home yesterday and surprised my wife with the finished nursery. Our first day at home was filled with comfy cuddles and many kisses.
First day at home bliss :)
After such a crazy year of touring and producing the DVD, I couldn’t me happier to slow it down and spend quality time with my new little family of 3!
Did you know that October is Eczema Awareness Month?
I am really excited to announce my first song about the condition! “The Eczema Song” was created with The Eczema Company and has the most adorable music video. We had a blast filming it during the summer in Montreal!
Eczema is a condition that I have had as long as I’ve had food allergies. It flares up occasionally, and fight it with creams. Just like the song says “I won’t let it win!”