HomeSpecial Feature: From the community – January 2023

Special Feature: From the community – January 2023

January 13, 2023

Lorette family: recipients of The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal

Janet and David Lorette, and their daughter Katherine of Rothesay, New Brunswick have been awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal in recognition of their Sweet Caroline Foundation work to increase food allergy awareness and education. New Brunswick launched this new medal in 2022 to honour those who have made significant contributions to the province, a particular region, community or field.

Katherine Lorette (pictured in the middle)

The Sweet Caroline Foundation was started in remembrance of Caroline Lorette, who passed away at the age of 14 after having a severe allergic reaction. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting allergy awareness, helping to ensure no family has to endure a tragedy from anaphylaxis. The Sweet Caroline Foundation has partnered with Food Allergy Canada to educate future generations on food allergy and anaphylaxis with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of food allergy being a serious medical condition.

We spoke with Katherine about the Sweet Caroline Foundation and what it meant to receive the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.

How did the awarding of this prestigious medal come about and what were you acknowledged for?

Unbeknownst to us, my parents and I were nominated for this award by our MLA for our work spreading allergy awareness in our province. The medal is to commemorate people who, like the Queen, have continuously devoted themselves to help their community, New Brunswick in our case, and Canada.

It is an incredible honour to be recognized for something that we are so passionate about and have devoted (and continue to devote) our lives to. 

Tell us about the Sweet Caroline Foundation and its mission.

Our foundation is focused on promoting allergy awareness and education. After losing my sister Caroline, it has been our mission to ensure that no one ever has to go through what my family has gone through. We will keep working hard until we are in a world where people living with allergies and the risk of anaphylaxis are safe and empowered.

Since the Foundation started, we have exponentially increased awareness in New Brunswick on food allergy and how to treat anaphylaxis. We offered allergy education programming for schools and community organizations, helping to teach them about not only recognizing and treating anaphylaxis but also having the compassion needed to make it easier for young people living with food allergy and the risk of anaphylaxis.

Sweet Caroline Foundation annual run

We also create awareness through an annual run in Caroline’s honour, it is our primary fundraiser with a portion of the proceeds going towards funding a scholarship for youth in New Brunswick attending post-secondary school. The scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate a strong commitment and creative approach to raising awareness and educating others about food allergies and anaphylaxis.

What’s next for Sweet Caroline Foundation?

As we continue to spread awareness locally, our next steps are to raise awareness and provide life-saving education at a national level with the work we are undertaking with Food Allergy Canada. Caroline’s journey and her story will continue to inspire future generations to know how to support others with food allergy.

Congratulations to the Lorette family on this well-deserved honour!
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