Can Opener: Food allergy activist Robyn O’Brien


GREENWICH, Conn — Last night, I had the opportunity to attend an inspiring fundraiser event for End Allergies Together, EAT. I'm going to be talking a lot more about EAT on these pages in the future. The organization raises money for food allergy research and understands the importance of finding creative ways to raise awareness and keep our message front and center.

At the event, best-selling author and food allergy activist Robyn O’Brien received the Courage Award.

O'Brien is indeed courageous. One of the nation's foremost advocates for food and health care reform, O'Brien founded the AllergyKids Foundation and MomVoices after her daughter suffered an allergic reaction. She has also been a leading voice on issues such as the need for a smarter food system when it comes to allergies, cancer and other chronic diseases as well as the skyrocketing prices of EpiPens.

According to EAT, O’Brien has shown “steadfast dedication to advocating for a healthier food system and greater collaboration among those trying to protect the health of our families.”

O’Brien has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times and Bloomberg. When faced with overwhelming opposition, she simply didn't back down. All of us in the food allergy world are better because of O'Brien's persistence, grit and fearless leadership. O'Brien is a CAN Opener! 


JJ Vulopas is a junior 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 Follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @thelandofcan.