TEAL

Preparing for a Vacation with Allergies

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My name is Joey DiGangi, and I'm proud to be one of the people that's helped create the Teal platform alongside Caron. I'm the founder of AssureTech, an American software company that designed much of the technology you'll find in the Teal App and website. I wanted to introduce myself to all of you as I continue to help build Teal. I'll start by sharing a little about my life with allergies so far - specifically as it relates to traveling since it's summertime and we've been sharing a survey about going on holiday with food allergies. I have a severe peanut and tree nut allergy, and the experiences with them helped shape the technology and other products that AssureTech, and now, Teal, offer. One of the most impactful experiences in my life was learning to travel with a food allergy. I left the United States for the first time, knowing nothing about translating my condition, and experienced a life-threatening attack following the cross-contamination of my breakfast one morning. This experience inspired our first software, a translation tool that could help a person having an allergic reaction find the resources they need - like locating a hospital or asking for help. This app led to new partnerships, like the one we have with Kdan Mobile, who've helped us create the EpiCenter App, and Equal Eats, who now provides the translations seen in the App. Top Lessons Learned from Traveling I started to record some other tips after this experience that I've shared as part of our company's blog that I'm going to also link to here. 1) Know what to look for at restaurants Identifying places that "get it," or even ones that go above and beyond just accommodating your family's allergy is one of the best ways to make the trip a relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone. 2) If you're traveling abroad, make sure you're packing the right supplies Make sure you pack your auto-injectors, effective translations (I suggest at least two or three forms), and safe-to-eat snacks for the plane. 3) Reach out to communities and professionals who've traveled more One of the best things about the food allergy world is you're never alone! There are groups and professionals that have likely traveled to wherever you're considering going that would be happy to share their advice with you. Some of my go-to strategies are listed here. What to Expect Next I can't wait to continue working with Caron and periodically sharing updates about our progress as we expand the Teal App's functions. If you want to stay in the loop, I definitely suggest subscribing to the Teal newsletter below for more updates!