Thomas and Dina Silvera | Urgent Need to Train Preschools on Allergy

16 July 2020
By Allergic Living

In Episode 3 of Allergic Living’s series on racial disparities in food allergies, Thomas Silvera and Ondina Hawthorne-Silvera of the Elijah-Alavi Foundation explain how their young son’s death from anaphylaxis in 2017 lit a fire in them to protect allergic children at preschools across the U.S. They speak of the mission behind New York State’s Elijah’s Law and why they’re committed to expand it to other states.

The Silveras are passionate about taking action for those with food allergies, and particularly concerned about the lack of allergy and asthma education at childcare centers in underserved communities. “The disparities are there and we need to make a change,” says Thomas Silvera. Elijah’s Law is just the start of their plans. “This is our life’s work – 24/7.”

Thomas Silvera and Ondina Hawthorne-Silvera are co-founders of the Elijah-Alavi Foundation. As well, Dina Hawthorne-Silvera is a special education teacher, singer/ songwriter and author of an affecting book on personal grief called “Good Mourning”. Thomas Silvera is a surgical technologist who is pursuing a degree in health education & sciences. Visit the, and see the Forty-Five 4/5 giving campaign.

Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.

Elijah-Alavi Foundation founders discuss how the death of their son led to "our life's work" to protect allergic children in preschool.

All Talking Food Allergies Episodes

Related Resources
Elijah’s Law Will Protect Allergic Kids in NY Daycares
Food Allergy and Asthma: Burden on the Black Community
All Talking Food Allergy Podcasts
Holes in the Safety Net for Food Allergy Families