Monday, January 11, 2010

NBC 15 Coverage of Badger Allergy Friendly Game

Allergy Friendly Game
Living with allergies can make even the simplest task, such as going to a basketball game, next to impossible.

It doesn't take much for some people to have allergic reaction. A simple touch can sometime be enough to send someone to the emergency room.

But Sunday, staff at the Kohl Center took extra steps to make sure anyone with food allergies could come out and enjoy a game.

It's not something they get to do often: go to a game as a family. "We've been to a Brewers game and it was terrifying." It's not that Rachel Madden and her family don't want to, or that they don't have the time. It's because of their son's allergies. Madden says, "What concerns us the most is that if somebody eats peanuts or something with dairy and then touched something and then he touched it and then ate himself... he could have a reaction from something like that."

5-year-old Joe is allergic to all nuts, dairy products and eggs. If he has any contact with these foods or products containing them, he could be sick for days or worse.

"It's hard to enjoy big events like this because you're nervous that there might be a situation that you might end up in the emergency room."

Sunday, Madden and her family drove from New Berlin--just outside of Milwaukee--to come to the Kohl Center--for their allergy friendly women's basketball game.

Three sections were specially cleaned to make sure they were safe for people with allergies. But the special precautions didn't just end with the seating; they also had to take very special measures with the food preparations.

"They have pecan ice cream which then would possibly contaminate the other ice cream if they used the same scoop."

Sheree Godwin is the President of the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin--her group, along with the UW, helped organize the event.

Her kids also suffer from allergies--she says an event like this allows families to go out and not have to worry.

Madden couldn't agree more. "We're still a little bit worried but I do feel very safe."

This was the first time the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin has ever done anything like this. They have another outing planned. In February, they'll be back at the Kohl Center for a women's hockey game.

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