Every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room. Scary for adults—and even scarier for children. MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) will bring a heightened awareness to this growing problem at its upcoming Storybook Ball.
Now in its 18th year, the Storybook Ball is one of Boston’s pinnacle events, bringing supporters, advocates and medical professionals together to honor pediatric care at MGHfC. This year’s Storybook Ball will take place on Saturday, October 14, at The Castle on 130 Columbus Avenue.
“This evening will showcase the outstanding work being done at the MGHfC Food Allergy Center,” said Demi Isenstadt, co-chair of the Ball. “We look forward to sharing the story of the Robledo family, highlighting the many challenges a family faces when a child is diagnosed with one or more food allergies.” Since its beginning, the Storybook Ball has raised over $25 million for pediatric care. And this year, thanks to the Demarest Lloyd Jr. Foundation and Brian and Adria Sheth, every new or increased sponsorship will be matched up to $500,000.
Food allergies are increasingly prevalent, affecting up to eight percent of children in the United States alone. But their underlying causes remain a mystery. “We’re working to improve outcomes and provide hope for pediatric families and patients affected by this,” states Dr. Ronald Kleinman, Physician-in-Chief at MGHfC. “Through careful diagnosis, care and research we’re improving the quality of life for pediatric and adult patients every day.”
Just one of the millions of children that are affected by food allergies is Reese Robledo from Hopkinton, Mass. Just 8 years old, Reese has multiple life-threatening food allergies, including milk, wheat and poultry. She’s been seen at the MGHfC Food Allergy Center since she was just 6 months old, and has participated in 14 food challenges that have allowed the addition of 13 previously restricted foods to her diet. Participating now in a clinical trial, Reese and her family look forward to the day when a cure is within reach.
As the Storybook Ball takes on this important mission, it will surround its guests with a magical evening inspired by “Beauty and The Beast.” Created with the unique vision of Back-Bay based Rafanelli Events, The Castle will be aglow with libraries of books filled with limitless potential, a dinner twinkling with the lights of the Beast’s castle.