Our group includes parents of children (from babies to teens) with life-threatening food allergies, as well as adults with these allergies. Some have latex allergies. Many are also dealing with other atopic diseases, such as asthma, environmental allergies, and ezcema. We also have a few participants who have a professional interest in receiving or sharing information on dealing with anaphylactic food and latex allergies, and/or wish to advocate on behalf of people with these allergies.
Our group was founded in February 1999, following the 1998 death of Kristine Kastner, a Mercer Island girl with a life-threatening nut allergy. One of the factors in her death was that emergency medical technicians (EMTs) responding to the 911 call were not allowed by law to carry and administer epinephrine. FEAST initially focused on providing education and support to those living with severe food allergies, as well as on changing the state law regarding EMT’s and epinephrine. The group took an active role in working for the passage of legislation permitting EMTs in the State of Washington to carry and administer epinephrine. This legislation was initially passed on a trial basis in 1999, and became permanent in 2005. FEAST was affiliated with the Washington State Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America from 1999-2008. In 2008 WA-FEAST incorporated as a not-for-profit in Washington State with 501(c)3 status.