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HERO MOM | January 2016

SUZUKA HETTERICH, NAPERVILLE/PLAINFIELD Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Watermelon, Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Apples, Avocado, Celery, Cucumber, Zucchini, Summer Squash, etc. These are the healthy snacks we give our kids when they are asking for chips, candy, and soda. But for mother of three, Suzuka Hetterich, who prides herself on living a healthy and active lifestyle as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor at XSport Fitness and the Naperville and Plainfield YMCAs, these snacks can send her daughter, Claudia, straight to the E.R.

“We discovered her allergy when we first introduced her to yogurt at nine months of age,” Suzuka shares. “Claudia has had three life threatening anaphylactic reactions to food allergens in her short 6 years of her life.”

She is severely allergic to over 16 different food items, so Suzuka makes almost everything they eat from scratch to ensure no cross contamination or hidden allergens. “We are fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful friends and neighbors who never exclude our daughter because of her food allergy; however, public places like parks can be challenging when children are often allowed to eat and/or drink while they play.” Suzuka says, “Having your children simply wash their hands after snack/meal and/or before they leave a house, can possibly save a life of someone with food allergies.”

The family supports “FARE” to raise funds and awareness for Food Allergy Research and Education. To learn more, visit –Kristen Kucharski, Photos by Mike Mantucca

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