The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award is dedicated to the life of Sabrina Shannon, an inspiring teenager who died from anaphylaxis in 2003. This award is sponsored by Food Allergy Canada and made possible through an educational grant from TD Securities.
Two individuals in post-secondary school who have contributed significantly to the Canadian food allergy community are selected for a $1,000 award each.
This year, our winners are Anita Shah and Victoria Jackman. We commend them for their strong lifelong commitment to raising allergy awareness and educating others.
Meet Anita Shah
Anita is a 21-year-old student from Mississauga, Ontario attending her fourth year at McMaster University with a major in life sciences. She credits the motto “be safe, not scared”, which her father instilled in her as a child, as a key pillar to her approach on managing her peanut and tree nut allergy.
She has always been inspired to help others with food allergy to be more empowered in managing their condition, ultimately advocating for them to take less risks, while promoting allergy education to the greater community. Anita’s commitment to advocacy from a young age was so pronounced that she even won a grade 4 class speech competition in which she educated her peers on the topic of anaphylaxis.
Her advocacy work has primarily focused on college/university students and youth. As a veteran mentor in our Allergy Pals/Allies online mentorship program, Anita has single-handedly supported many children and helped them build the confidence they need to advocate for themselves and to better manage their food allergy in their everyday lives.
After transitioning to university, she co-created the McMaster Food Allergy Club, a campus club that organizes meetings throughout the year to connect allergic students and provide education and resources to help safely navigate campus life with a food allergy. The club’s goal is to be the voice of allergic students at her university. The 20-member club is active in organizing fundraisers, creating and disseminating educational brochures, as well as hosting allergy research events featuring researchers and allergists as guest speakers.
We congratulate Anita Shah as a well-deserving recipient of this year’s award and look forward to her continued impact in the allergy community as she continues to emphasize the importance of “being safe, not scared.”
Meet Victoria Jackman
Newfoundland-born Victoria is a 20-year-old commerce student at Queen’s University. She is allergic to tree nuts as well as peanuts and eggs and has eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).
Victoria is an avid volunteer in her community. She has volunteered for the Terry Fox Foundation (Mount Pearl, NL), Swimming with a Mission (Kingston, ON), Food Sharing Project – Sobey Scholar Volunteer Initiative, Special Olympics (Mount Pearl, NL), Vimy Foundation (Toronto, ON), Association Communautaire Francophone de Saint Jean (St. John’s, NL), and the Mount Pearl School of Martial Arts (Mount Pearl, NL).
Lucky for our community, she is also passionate about helping youth with food allergy. As a part of our Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) since 2014, Victoria has been an influential member who consistently injects herself into key leadership roles. As the team lead for French youth resources and youth social media content, she oversaw the development of more diverse and accessible educational content.
Recently, Victoria helped to develop our Allergy Awareness Challenge programs for both elementary and high schools. She conducted the research and helped to develop these resources which allow students to raise food allergy awareness in their own schools. She has also been the YAP representative in charge of an upcoming awareness video series highlighting the real and raw stories of youth with food allergy.
We congratulate Victoria Jackman on her achievements and are proud to name her a recipient of this year’s award.
Our congratulations to these two remarkable and accomplished young people!
To learn more about the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award, visit our community awards page, or click here.Tags: community awards, sabrina shannon memorial award