Anaphylaxis Canada would like to congratulate the recipients of the fifth annual Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award: Sydney Harris (Barrie, ON) and Katherine Li (Calgary, AB). Sydney and Katherine were selected from a total of 88 applicants for their demonstrated commitment to raising awareness and educating others about severe allergies.
Sydney is 18 years old and will be entering her first year of a pre-health sciences program at Georgian College, Ontario. Since being diagnosed with food allergies at age 13, she has actively raised allergy awareness at her school through presentations for her classmates, and by providing anaphylaxis training to her high school teachers. She has also maintained a blog -“A Tale of Anaphylaxis”- where she provides tips and support for other teens with food allergies. Sydney has also been an active member of Anaphylaxis Canada’s Youth Advisory Panel for which she has written educational articles, exhibited at health fairs, and developed and delivered various conference presentations. Sydney was also a mentor in the first Allergy Pals Online Mentorship Program in 2014.
Katherine is 19 years old and starting her second year of studies at McGill University, Quebec, where she is a part of the McGill Student Emergency Response Team (M-SERT). She has helped treat anaphylactic reactions on campus and educated fellow students on recognizing symptoms of anaphylaxis. Although she does not have food allergies herself, her interest in the condition led her to seek a two month summer internship at Dr. Wayne Shreffler’s lab at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases and Food Allergy Research Center. There she gained first-hand lab and clinical knowledge on oral immunotherapy treatment among other research.
Anaphylaxis Canada would like to thank all of the award applicants for their initiative, creativity, and commitment to raising allergy awareness and educating others in their communities. We received many excellent applications from across the country, and selecting recipients was not an easy task.
The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award is dedicated to the life of Sabrina Shannon, an inspiring teenager who suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction in 2003. During her life, Sabrina worked to raise allergy awareness by creating the first-person radio documentary, “A Nutty Tale,” which aired on CBC radio in 2001. Since her passing, Sabrina’s parents and other members of the allergy community have kept her spirit alive by advocating for allergy-safe schools and communities. In 2005, Sabrina’s Law was passed in Ontario, providing landmark legislation that has influenced anaphylaxis policies in schools across Canada.
We are proud to honour Sabrina’s memory with this award and the Sabrina Shannon Legacy Fund.
The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award is made possible through an educational grant from TD Securities.