The family of an Idaho teen who died from a severe allergic reaction in late May is launching new nonprofit foundation to raise awareness about food allergies, and to ease the financial burden of buying epinephrine auto-injectors.
The foundation is called “ReeseStrong,” in honor of Reese Langer, 13. The teen was celebrating with her cheerleading teammates at a banquet on May 16. She suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction after eating a dessert that “she thought was safe,” according to family information shared on the ReeseStrong website.
But the family says that dessert turned out to contain walnuts, and Reese had nut allergies. Tragically, the teen died on May 20, 2021, four days after the reaction.
The ReeseStrong foundation will teach others to be aware of food allergies, said Reese’s mom Heather Langer, according to IdahoNews.com. “She didn’t let her allergies or her asthma stop her from living her best life,” Heather Langer said. Reese is also survived by her dad, Ryan Langer, and two brothers, along with several other close relatives.
Reese’s ‘Sweet Spirit’ Remembered
The Eagle Middle School student, who had been diagnosed with food allergies and asthma at a young age, is being remembered for “her sweet spirit, pure heart and infectious smile,” says the ReeseStrong website.
A key aim of the new foundation is to raise funds to help provide others with affordable epinephrine auto-injectors. The foundation notes that branded EpiPens retail for an average of $670 per two-pack of auto-injectors, before insurance. “ReeseStrong is here to help ease the financial burden of EpiPens, as well as to create a safe place with knowledge about food allergies,” the website says.
There is no word on whether Reese had an epinephrine injection at the time of her anaphylactic reaction.
Reese’s family and friends gathered on June 2 for a celebration of her life, and spoke about how they will remember the kindhearted teen, according to IdahoNews.com. Her family wrote on the ReeseStrong website that she enjoyed spending time with her family, swimming, skiing and camping, along with volunteering with her mom. She was also proud to be a cheerleader with Idaho Cheer.
“Her happiness and care for others made her a bright light wherever she went,” her family wrote on the foundation website.
To learn more or to donate, visit: Reese.strong.love.