The charismatic, former Pittsburgh Steeler is preparing for the Super Bowl by joining forces with Food Network star, Robin Miller. The two are partnering with Sanofi US to educate people about food allergies, and the importance of preventative measures to avoid a life-threatening episode associated with anaphylaxis. “[Allergy] testing is very important. That test can save someone’s life,” said Bettis.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening emergency reaction generally characterized by an itchy rash, swelling in the throat and sometimes low blood pressure. Food is the most commonly identified anaphylaxis trigger and accounts for 30 percent of all anaphylaxis fatalities (Auvi-Q). Anyone with an allergy is at risk of experiencing anaphylaxis.
With the Super Bowl days away, Bettis reminds the importance of knowing what you’re eating. “I just like to ask [what’s in a particular dish],” he said with laughter.
“I’m allergic to shellfish.” Recalling the horrific event of first learning of his food allergy at 15 years-old when he experienced anaphylaxis. In fact, six million Americans are at risk for anaphylaxis, according to Auvi-Q's web site. His childhood experience with food allergies and asthma has motivated him to inform others about the danger in lack of preparation.
Bettis has made it his mission to encourage individuals to use Auvi-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) for emergency treatment of life-threatening allergies. Auvi-Q is beneficial for children and adults who struggle with severe allergic reactions.
"My mantra is 'the best defense is a good offense.' When I found out about Auvi-Q, I wanted to make sure that people with severe, life-threatening allergies like me know their 'plays…' and always carry an epinephrine auto-injector just in case of accidental exposure," said Bettis.
“That’s why carrying the Auvi-Q is so important," Bettis emphasized. He ensures that the epinephrine injection is different from previous allergy injectors. The Auvi-Q is an FDA approved auto-injector for immediate self or caregiver administration. “The Auvi-Q has audio and visual cues that [assist] people with the injection process.” Furthermore, the Auvi-Q is the first and only epinephrine with audio and visual cues. The injector is the size and shape of a credit card and works by being injected into your outer thigh when challenged with anaphylaxis.
The allergy injector became available January 28th, and is available with a prescription. “I have mine with me, right now!” Auvi-Q is used as a preventative measure; however, it should not take the place of seeking medical attention. It’s also important to consult with your medical doctor because the allergy injector might interfere with certain medications.
Charismatically, Jerome Bettis shared, which team he’ll be cheering for to win the Super Bowl. “I don’t know why, but I’m rooting for Baltimore.” However, don’t expect Bettis to cook a dish himself to bring to a Super Bowl party. Bettis encourages individuals to check out Food Network star, Robin Miller’s recipes on auvi-q.com. “I don’t cook, but there are some great recipes on auvi-q.com.” Most importantly, the best way to be prepared when faced with a sudden allergy is to avoid leaving home without Auvi-Q.
This was an exclusive telephone interview with Jerome Bettis.