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335 Miles for Miles: One Father’s Fight Against Food Allergies

A personal campaign sponsored by Megan Trenery

April 8, 2015


Mike Monroe, an avid endurance athlete and grateful Children’s National parent, will be putting himself to a severe test in the fight against food allergies – to become the first person to continuously ride the 335 miles of trail system that connects Pittsburgh, PA to Washington DC-- (The Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal trails).  Most people complete the ride over the course of 4-6 days.   Mike hopes to complete the ride in 30 hours.  Mike’s quest is simple and personal; inspired by his 10 year old son, Miles, who has severe multiple food allergies, Mike is raising funds and awareness for the food allergy clinical trials program at Children National Health System.  The Food Allergy Program at Children’s National is committed to giving families in the Washington DC region access to cutting-edge clinical trials aimed at finding the best ways to treat, and one day, cure food allergies. 

Mike’s goal is to raise $50,000 for clinical food allergy research under the leadership of Dr. Hemant Sharma, Miles’s doctor at Children’s National. The ride will begin on Thursday, May 14th in Pittsburgh and end in Children’s National’s main atrium on Friday, May 15th where we will celebrate Mike’s accomplishment.  His son Miles will be joining him for a short portion of the ride into Washington, DC.

Food allergies are potentially life-threatening. The simple act of eating, which most of us take for granted, is a daily challenge for kids with food allergies because even a small bite of an allergen could have tragic consequences. “This can be a life or death situation for kids with food allergies,” says Mike Monroe. “It is critical that clinical research is funded to help solve this problem.  I am pushing myself to complete this ride knowing that people like my son want nothing more than to live normal lives.”

Hear more from the kids: 

When: Friday, May 15th at 1pm
Where: Children’s National Main Atrium
How: Follow Mike’s progress on the trail and support his personal fundraising page here: 

Check back frequently as we will be updating this page with photos and videos of Mike’s ride to Children’s National!


Why Food Allergy Matters? 

Food allergy affects 1 in 13 kids in the U.S. and these numbers are growing.  That means there are two children in every classroom with a food allergy.  Across the country, life-threatening allergies are increasing in prevalence. This reality poses a danger to children and young adults, who often lack the awareness, knowledge, or tools to ensure their safety everywhere they go – at school, in the community, and even in their own homes. There is currently no cure, but early research into potential treatments for food allergy appears promising.  

Children’s National’s Food Allergy Program started in 2009 under the leadership of Dr. Hemant Sharma.  In just 5 years, the program has successfully established clinics throughout the DC metropolitan region to meet the growing demand for expert food allergy care. 

·      Over 8,500 patient visits each year

·     Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone in the US to the emergency department. That’s 200,000 emergency department visits per year! And every 6 minutes, a serious food allergy reaction (anaphylaxis) sends someone in the US to the emergency department. This means that over the course of Mike’s ride, 240 anaphylactic reactions will take place throughout the US. 

·      More than half of those patients are underserved urban children who otherwise would not have access to specialized treatment. 

·      Children’s National prides itself on their holistic approach to caring for kids with food allergy

·      One of only a few food allergy centers in the U.S. to have a dedicated child psychologist, who engages in care and research to ensure the overall well-being of children and families. 

·      The food allergy team is deeply committed to education and outreach

·     Engaged in a close collaboration with FARE

Thank you for considering support of the Food Allergy program at Children's National. To learn more, please contact Megan Trenery at 301.565.8521 or