Dena Friedel is the Founder and Executive Director of “My” Food Allergy Support Group. Founded in February 2006, the group is dedicated to the continuous education and support of parents of children with life-threatening food allergies.
Around the age of two, Dena’s daughter Jordan was diagnosed with both asthma and a life-threatening allergy to peanuts. At that time, there was little to no support for managing this overwhelming, life changing diagnosis. The combination of the nut allergy with asthma makes it even more critical to manage carefully. Jordan has since added tree nuts, egg and beef to her allergen avoidance list.
Dena works tirelessly and proactively to keep her daughter safe; while carefully balancing the need for her to also live a happy, fulfilling life without fear. Living with this life-threatening condition requires a constant education process of the world around us. Our ever changing world continues to bring new challenges our way. Along with these new challenges, come new opportunities for education.
Dena is fiercely passionate about food allergies. She is active in the food allergy community at both local and national levels. She has trained families, schools, daycare facilities and other community organizations on how to manage food allergies. She worked with both FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) and multiple legislators to pass the Ohio Stock Epinephrine Bill. Dena served on the committee that wrote the District Policy and Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies for the Olentangy Local School District in Ohio. She is also a member of the committee that brought the FARE Walk for Food Allergies to Columbus in 2010; an annual event since. She is an active leader in the Support Group Leader Networks for both FARE and FAACT (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team).
In April of 2011, Dena was honored to be selected by The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) to receive the Mariel C. Furlong Award for Making a Difference in Community Service.