MONTREAL, Jan. 11, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Megann Ayotte Lefort was only 6
years old when she suffered a fatal allergic and asthmatic reaction at
her Montreal school. Now a grassroots association of allergy and asthma
advocates has formed around a single and vital goal: the creation of
Megann's Law in Quebec.
Such a law would protect the estimated 72,000 Quebec schoolchildren with
food allergies and the tens of thousands more with asthma. It would
mandate measures such as province-wide emergency allergy and asthma
training for school staff - teaching them to recognize the signs of an
allergic or asthmatic reaction and how to administer a life-saving
"The loss of any child is tragic," says Marie-Josée Bettez, one of the
leaders of the Coalition for Megann's Law. "But Megann's death was
preventable - and that only magnifies the tragedy and proves the need
for this law."
The campaign for Megann's Law is growing quickly. More than 2,000
individuals have now sent letters in support of such legislation to
Line Beauchamp, Quebec's vice premier and minister of education, and to
Dr. Yves Bolduc, the minister of health and social services.
Support continues to grow as more people learn of Megann's death and of
yet another preventable allergy tragedy this month in Virginia (also
involving a Grade one pupil, who also did not receive epinephrine).
Meanwhile, the Coalition for Megann's Law points to a study that found
Quebec fared the worst in a five-province comparison of school
readiness for allergy emergencies.
"The time is now for this law," says Diane Dubord, executive director of
the Quebec Food Allergy Association (AQAA), and a member of the
coalition. "Let us train the school staff today and keep allergic and
asthmatic students safe, rather than wait for another school tragedy."
For more about Megann's Law, see: www.allergicliving.com/Meganns
Link to study mentioned:
Link to Virginia case:
About the Coalition for Megann's Law
These organizations comprise the coalition: Quebec Food Allergy
Association (AQAA), Asthme et Allergies Québec, Montreal Anaphylaxis
Support Group, Allergic Living magazine, Gardian Angel Foods, Déjouer
les allergies and the blog Les allergies alimentaires.
SOURCE Association québécoise des allergies alimentaires - AQAA
For further information:
Marie-Josée Bettez, President
Déjouer les allergies
Diane Dubord, Executive director
Association québécoise des allergies alimentaires
514-990-2575, ext. 203
Andrea Shainblum, Leader
Montreal Anaphylaxis Support Group
Gwen Smith, Editor
Allergic Living magazine