Food Allergy Can Opener: Kyle Dine, food allergy educator
Recently, I asked for nominations for CAN Openers. Several people on social media suggested Kyle Dine, food allergy educator. Once I looked into him, I immediately understood why. He rocks... literally.
Kyle Dine grew up in the 80's and 90's and self-admittedly wasn't an all-star when it came to managing his own multiple food allergies (peanut, tree nut, egg, fish, shellfish, and mustard). On Christmas Day in 2005, Kyle experienced an anaphylactic reaction while surrounded by family which made him flip his thinking on how he should be managing his condition. Since that day, Kyle has taken a unique path to help others avoid severe reactions through education.
While in university, he realized through an international exchange opportunity how difficult it was to communicate his food allergies while overseas. As a business student, he founded www.allergytranslation.com to help allergic travelers by allowing them to create customized Allergy Translation Cards to use at restaurants overseas. Ten years later, these cards have helped thousands travel with more peace of mind.
While doing research for his business, he realized there was a real gap for resources for children with food allergies. Knowing that early allergy education would have made a difference in his life, Kyle picked up his guitar and started writing! He has released two professional CDs featuring educational and fun music all about food allergies. This lead to a successful Kickstarter campaign where the allergy community supported his vision of a food allergy video for kids and raised $30,000 together. The video "Kyle Dine & Friends" is now in schools and libraries across North America. Throughout this time, he has performed food allergy education assemblies at over 800 schools and reached over one million children with his empowering awareness messages of support, understanding and empathy.
Recently, Kyle started up a new travel resource with a team of others at www.allergytravels.com to create an all-in-one spot for travellers to find food allergy specific information for different countries and airlines.
When he's not busy creating food allergy awareness, he loves to play hockey (he's Canadian after all!), travel, and experiment in the kitchen baking with his daughter.
More info at www.kyledine.com
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 www.thelandofcan.com. Follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @thelandofcan.