Welcome to Food Allergy Lowdown (FAL)!
Meet the Sibling Duo
Creator of AllergySmartz
Executive Content Producer for Food Allergy Lowdown
Hi! My name is Shirali Nigam and I am an 20 year old girl with tree nut allergies. Some years ago, while vacationing overseas, I had a horrible allergic reaction. As a balloon began inflating in my head, red hives began bubbling from my skin, through my Darth Vader-like wheeze I yelled, “I can’t breathe!” This reaction was simply a consequence of a language barrier between the chef and I – key information about cross-contamination was lost in translation. Following this I vowed to be proactive, to prepare for the possibilities before they arrive.
What struck me was how such a large percent of the allergy community shared concerns about traveling with allergies – and yet there was nothing to make it better. So I took matters into my own hands. My brother Arul and I designed an App that could be used worldwide, to convey food allergies and precautions needed for safe food preparation to restaurant staff if any language – AllergySmartz. It is user-friendly for non-native English speakers. Since WiFi accessibility is can be a challenge when vacationing abroad, AllergySmartz requires NO WiFi.
My role at Food Allergy Lowdown (FAL) includes both working on updates to AllergySmartz and sharing my own experiences, things I took for granted, such as safe international travel, allergy-safe school treats, and how to throw bakery birthday parties for someone with food allergies with food allergies by authoring weekly blogs.
Co-Creator of AllergySmartz
Lead Content Producer for Food Allergy Lowdown
Public Relations Strategist
Hi! My name is Arul Nigam and I am a 15 year old boy with a passion to shape the public’s perception about food allergies. Having watched my older sister, Shirali, face challenges with food allergies (not being able to eat cakes at birthday parties, or having to give up her Halloween candy) has made me passionate about helping the allergy community.
As researchers work towards finding a cure for this growing epidemic it is imperative that we do all it takes to keep environments safe and inclusive for people with food allergies.
As a part of my role as a Public Relations Strategist for both Food Allergy Lowdown and AllergySmartz, I analyze statistics regarding our global viewership to determine and strategize key topics for blog posts. I serve as an internal resource for championing content. I also organize fundraisers for research and awareness.