Food Allergy School CANpaign: Celebrating School Nurses


Food Allergy School CANpaign: Got School Nurse?

As I continue to search for school nurses to help us introduce our Food Allergy School CANpaign to their elementary schools, I am reminded why I feel so strongly about the importance of school nurses. I am reminded of my elementary school nurse, Mrs. Sue Ann Hummel.

By ensuring I had a safe space to learn, Mrs. Hummel helped create a learning environment that allowed me to soar.

When you have a food allergy, navigating school can often be difficult, especially in elementary school when you’re young, impressionable and already conscious of standing out.

My school experiences were positive in large part due to the early efforts of Mrs. Hummel.

One of the first things I remember Mrs. Hummel telling me was that my allergy would not prevent me from being a successful student. She empowered me with knowledge about my allergy. And then she helped me to share that knowledge with teachers and classmates.

In short, Mrs. Hummel advocated for me until I was able to advocate for myself. And this was long before food policies were standard at our school.

If you know any school nurses, please introduce them to our CANpaign. (Or purchase a book for them!) I know they will immediately embrace the CANpaign, spread food allergy awareness, and empower all young people to be who they are and who they can be, not who they’re not.


JJ Vulopas is a senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at and follow him @thelandofcan on Twitter and Instagram.