Food Allergy Role Models

Each one of you is unique and special in some way. You might be special because of a talent that you possess such as singing or playing an instrument. Or maybe there is something in the way you look that makes you unique in your family.

One thing that many of you have in common is that either you or someone you care for is living with an allergy to food. While this is a common bond for us here at Food Allergy Living, it can also make us stand out from our family members, friends, classmates and coworkers. Being unique or different can make us feel special, but it can also sometimes make us feel strange or even isolated. In fact, I speak to parents every day who are concerned about their child and how their child’s food allergy might hinder their health and future potential.

Not to worry. The Neocate team is here to give you confidence that even though you or your loved one has an allergy to food, they have a bright and wonderful future ahead of them full of nothing but potential success. Here are some celebrities that have found tremendous success in the fields of acting, sports, and media while reportedly or openly living with food allergies.

Dairy Allergy:

Is your loved one allergic to dairy? Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. In case you are not an NFL/Football fanatic like me (I do mean fanatic, and that is not a typo for fan), the Saints are a professional football team in the NFL. Drew Brees has been in the NFL as a Quarterback for 16 seasons, and he has experienced a very high level of professional football success.

Drew’s success has come on many levels including a successful high school record, 2 time Heisman finalist and collegiate bowl game appearance, winning the ultimate NFL prize of Super Bowl Champion, and being named to a long list of awards and honors including many NFL Pro Bowls, NFL Super Bowl MVP, and their highest individual honor of the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year being some of the most impressive.

Drew has achieved all this professional football success while living with food allergies including an allergy to dairy. In fact, both Drew and his wife Brittany Brees are both allergic to dairy and both very open about their food allergies. Drew is also involved in a number of philanthropies, some through his foundation the Brees Dream Foundation. The couple joined the “So Delicious Dairy Free Team” in relation to their allergy to Dairy. Drew discussed why he wants to be a role model for others including children living with food allergies.

Other Celebrities reported to have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy:
Zooey Deschanel, Billy Bob Thornton, Brianna Adkins (daughter of singer Trace Adkins)

Allergy to Peanuts and/or Tree Nuts:

Perhaps you or your loved one is allergic to peanuts and/or tree nuts. Serena Williams is one of the most recognized and well-known tennis stars, and she is also allergic to peanuts. Her allergy to peanuts has not slowed her down. Serena has a long list of achievements and tennis titles currently on her resume with highlights including 69 single titles, 22 double titles, 36 total grand slam titles, 4 gold medals, and a golden grand slam title. In fact, she recently added to her success by winning the 2017 singles title in the Australian open by beating out her older sister Venus for her 23rd grand slam singles title to tie another all-time great tennis star, Steffi Graf.

Serena excels not only in professional tennis but also in the world of fashion. She created the Serena Williams Fund where she works with a number of different organizations to promote education and support communities affected by violence.

Other Celebrities reported to have an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts:

Ray Romano, Drew Brees, Joshua Jackson, Brianna Adkins daughter of singer Trace Adkins, and Mason Kardashian son of Kourtney Kardashian

Allergy to Eggs:

Perhaps eggs are on your list of food allergies. Then you are not alone in this food allergy either. In fact actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel is allergic to eggs as well. Zooey is probably most well known for her role on the comedy film Elf or for her starring role on the new hit TV series New Girl.

Along with eggs, Zooey also has food allergies to dairy and wheat. This actress has not let her food allergies slow her down. Zooey often has meals delivered to her trailer while on set to help successfully manage her food allergies while being mindful of others food preferences. She is active on social media and often talks about her food allergies or how they impact her daily life in her social media posts.

Other Celebrities reported to have an allergy or sensitivity to eggs:
Billy Bob Thornton, Suze Orman, Brianna Adkins (daughter of singer Trace Adkins)

Celiac Disease or an Allergy to Wheat and/or Gluten:

Are you and/or your loved one allergic to wheat, or perhaps you have celiac disease? (Celiac disease, while not a true food allergy, is often referred to as an allergy, and results in a similarly restrictive diet.) Well you might be surprised how many celebrities share this same diagnosis. One in particular who shares the diagnosis of celiac disease is actress Jennifer Esposito. She has a successful career in both movies and TV series including a regular character on the TV series Blue Bloods and Spin City. She has been in films including Summer of Sam and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

Jennifer is open about her diagnosis of Celiac disease and was inspired to open a bakery that caters specifically to a gluten-free diet with only gluten-free baked goods called Jennifer’s Way Bakery in New York City.

Image Source

Other Celebrities reported to have celiac disease or allergy to wheat and/or gluten:
Zooey Deschanel, Keith Olbermann, Drew Brees and his wife Brittany, Billy Bob Thornton, Busy Phillips, Chelsea Clinton, Ryan Phillippe, Susie, Essman, Cedric Benson, James Stark, Heidi Collins, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Emmy Rossum

Other Food Allergy Support & Stories:

Hopefully some of these celebrities and professional athletes who have excelled while living with food allergies have inspired you and/or your loved one to see the potential you can have. Or perhaps they can remind you that even though you are unique and often different from others because of your allergies to food, you are not alone in living with food allergies!

Of course, Neocate is used by many families for a number of different food allergies or related GI and allergic conditions. An allergy to dairy, or cow milk protein, is one of the most common reasons that little ones need Neocate to get their start in life. If you want to see how other families and their little ones have thrived on Neocate, then read these Neocate testimonials.

Who is your food allergy hero or inspiration? Do you know of a celebrity or professional athlete living with food allergies? We want to know what you think!! Please share your thoughts or stories in the comments below.

–Kristin Crosby MS, RDN, LDN

Published: 01/31/2017
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