Teens in the Real World
Food Allergies in the Real World

Personal Stories


Personal Stories are real life experiences of teens and college students who have food allergies and recollections from their friends. This is your opportunity to learn of the challenges, frustrations, and triumphs of others who have food allergies — just like you. Find out what went wrong for them, how they handled their situations, what they learned, and what they would definitely do differently next time.

A Closer Look at Teen Summit

Last November marked FAAN's Sixth Annual Teen Summit held in Arlington, VA, co-sponsored by the Food Allergy Initiative. FAAN's Youth Programs Manager Jen Corey recaps on the event and what it offered to the teens and parents.

A Message from Miss Wisconsin's Outstanding Teen 2011

Annie Jorgensen has a message from her platform of "Be Aware, Prepare - Taking the Fear out of Food Allergies."

A Food Challenge Success Story

TAG Member Devora shares her great news after a recent food challenge in this essay.

Awkward Moments

Our TAG members wrote about some awkward "food allergy moments."


Hear about a TAG members experiences with bullying.

Be a FAAN Hero

This month, we hear from one of our TAG members about his food allergy hero.

A Bullying Victim's Perspective

One of the worst thoughts you could have when you are allergic to a type of food is that someone out there might risk your life for a joke.

A Successful Night Out

Two former TAG members relate their stories and know-how about eating out at restaurants.

Just Say No

Two anecdotes from TAG members illustrate additional strategies for dealing with bullies and cruel classmates.

Lunch and Checklists

Margot reflects that a lot of people think their friends are the greatest – but hers are extra special! Check out her story to learn why she loves her friends.

A Whole Lotta Love

TAG members have sent us a lot of little stories about how their friends have helped them in big ways. We’ve got some highlights here.

Beach Food

It is easy to find advice on dining out while traveling, but is it actually useful? 2008 TAG member Courtney answers that question by examining a trip she took to her grandparents' house by the beach.

Thinking Back, Looking Forward

This year's two college scholarship winners were kind enough to give us some insight into their lives. Find out what makes them tick!

Easy and Simple

The steps for using an epinephrine autoinjector seem so easy and simple. TAG member Vivian discusses a recent reaction and how reviewing the steps prepared her to respond to her allergic reaction.

A Wise Approach

Evan takes a look at his past experiences and offers his own unique advice to those who have recently been diagnosed with a food allergy.

Preparing to Live With Food Allergies

Sarah was recently diagnosed with new food allergies, and had to go through the learning process all over again. She relates some of the important lessons she has had to relearn.

When Life Gives You Lemons

When TAG member Emma was younger, she took a positive and proactive approach to managing her food allergies. Instead of feeling sad that she couldn't eat the baked treats at school parties, she set out to make her own.

From the Heart

If you enjoy poetry, you might be interested in the poems submitted by a number of TAG members. The poems reflect their feelings on managing food allergies.

Choosing a College

Food allergies can make the search for the right college a headache. TAG member Ryan explains how he handled the process and found a great college to attend.

Hamburger Surprise

Read Courtney’s story about how she handled her embarrassing food allergy moment in school.

Developing a New Allergy

You are used to life in a certain way, managing a food allergy you have had for years, and then something changes: tingly, swollen lips. But you haven’t eaten anything containing your food allergen, or have you? Read Courtney’s experience about developing a new food allergy while away at college.

Discovering My Culinary Passion

“The best part of birthdays and school parties, for many kids, is the savory and delicious cupcakes, cookies, and cakes that are served at the celebration. However, my food allergy to peanuts and tree nuts made it difficult to enjoy the goodies that were available at the parties.” See how Emma developed her passion for baking.

Real-Life Food Allergies in College

Many people develop food allergies when they are very young, but that’s not always the case. Abby developed hers while in college. Read about how her friends and family helped her to manage her allergies.

Lending a Helping Hand

Best friends never let you down. Read how Crysta took it on herself to fend for her friend who has food allergies.

Going Out on the Town

Many young adults will tell you that their favorite part of college was the friendships they made. Laura shares her tips for staying safe while enjoying the party scene with friends.

Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis

You might think it's hard to avoid the foods you're allergic to, but imagine if you had to avoid exercising within a certain time period — or otherwise risk having a severe reaction. Laura describes what it was like to be diagnosed with exercise-induced anaphyalxis.

Troubled over Teasing

Carlo writes about some classmates who just don't get how serious a food allergy can be.

We Want to Hear from You!

Have you overcome a big challenge in managing your food allergies? Did you have a severe reaction, but have learned an important lesson? Have your food allergies taught you to appreciate the people in your life? Send us your story so that other teens can read it and know they are not alone. In addition to helping others, you may even save a life!


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