ROTHESAY – The family of a New Brunswick teen who died after having a severe allergic reaction is sharing its story for the first time, hoping to spread information and awareness about serious food allergies and how they can be treated and avoided.
The video (“Caroline’s story”) is about Caroline Lorette, who passed away at the age of 14 after having a severe allergic reaction to dairy. After her death, The Sweet Caroline Foundation was launched to promote allergy awareness and tell Caroline’s story to help ensure no family has to endure a similar tragedy from anaphylaxis.
This week, The Sweet Caroline Foundation announced the launch of a pilot project – Allergy Awareness for Schools – in collaboration with Food Allergy Canada, a national not-for-profit advocacy and educational organization for more than 2.6 million Canadians living with food allergy.
“Caroline’s story” is the centrepiece of this campaign. It’s already been viewed more than 100,000 times on Facebook and garnered nearly 3,000 shares in just two days.
Watch the video below:
Jonathan Barry, chair of the Sweet Caroline Foundation says the video is a big part of the foundation’s pilot program for schools. If the program is successful, the goal is to take it beyond the Saint John area to all of Canada.
“We hope it will then broaden out in New Brunswick, which it looks like it’s going to happen. Then Food Allergy Canada is going to take it national,” said Barry, in an interview with Huddle. “The idea will be to basically have it in the same format that can be delivered to schools in assembly-style in 30 minutes, with a very minimal number of volunteers needed because the video does a lot of the work.”
Barry, the director of strategic development at T4G, says his involvement in the Sweet Caroline Foundation stems from a very personal connection.
“Caroline’s mom, Janet, and I grew up together since we were five or six-years-old,” said Barry. “Janet herself has severe allergies, so certainly my first experience with severe allergic reactions was with Janet.”
After his family moved back to Rothesay from Toronto, the old friends reconnected, and Barry’s daughters became friends with Caroline and her sister Katherine.
The video has already received an outpouring of positive comment on social media, with many saying it was informative and/or that they are thankful someone is bringing the topic into the spotlight.
“If it can save even one life, then we’ve done what we wanted to do,” says Barry.