HomeCommunity heroes: The Sweet Caroline Foundation, a legacy of education and awareness

Community heroes: The Sweet Caroline Foundation, a legacy of education and awareness

July 21, 2016

Caroline Lorette

Caroline Lorette

“Caroline is with us every step of this journey.”

Founded in remembrance of Caroline Lorette, who tragically passed away at the age of 14 after having an allergic reaction to dairy, The Sweet Caroline Foundation is dedicated to promoting allergy awareness in schools and throughout the community. The Foundation also works for access to life-saving epinephrine in schools and public spaces.

Caroline was a strong and talented, with a beautiful smile that would light up a room. The Foundation, based in Rothsay, New Brunswick, reflects the spirit of Caroline and is dedicated to improving the lives of all people living with food allergies.

Using the power of peer-to-peer learning, the organization involves teens in leading allergy awareness workshops at schools throughout the region. So far, they have visited 17 schools, presenting information on how to identify the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and the emergency steps to follow.

Teachers and students appreciate the hands-on learning, which allows them to ask any question as they go through the steps of identifying and treating a reaction. “We go through how to use an Epipen® step by step,” says Katherine Lorette, Caroline’s sister, “then we let the students practice using auto injectors.”

Because so many of their friends are affected by food allergies, “the students have been very interested in learning about autoinjectors and how to use them. There are always a lot of questions,” says Katherine. Students then take this knowledge back to their homes, parks, parties, camp, college and the workplace — preparing them to be ready to help their friends, neighbours and colleagues with allergies and to assist in an emergency.

The Sweet Caroline Foundation also advocates for stock epinephrine. Several of the schools they visited have now installed allergy emergency kits on their walls (similar to AEDs ). Other schools took steps to ensure that their school’s stock epinephrine was accessible and up to date, and that all teachers and staff knowledge was also regularly updated.

“The schools are becoming much more educated, and more aware,” says Katherine.

The Foundation also has a higher-education scholarship component for students who are making a difference for people with allergies and want to continue to do so. Six $1,000 scholarships were awarded in June 2015.

For more information about the scholarship program or to have the Sweet Caroline Foundation visit your school, please visit them online to learn more.

Food Allergy Canada would like to thank the entire Lorette family for all you do to make the world a safer place for people living with food allergies. You are truly an inspiration!

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