After finishing a game with the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins last season, Hanson capped his normal postgame routine by drinking a protein shake. Unfortunately, it came from an uncleansed blender that had been used to concoct a shake that included peanut butter. Though the 27-year-old ingested a trace amount of nut residue, he suffered an intense reaction within minutes.
“That was fun,” said Hanson, who learned of his nut allergy as a child. “I was wearing my suit and they had to give me an EpiPen in the locker room, put me on a stretcher and wheel me out in my suit past the other team. I had to go to the hospital and spend the night.”
The Wolves recognize the percentage of Americans diagnosed with food allergies has been rising steadily for years. As many as 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, including one of every 13 children under the age of 18. With that in mind, the Wolves have renewed their partnership with Enjoy Life Foods and Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to provide a pair of Peanut Awareness Days this season.
The first game is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, at Allstate Arena. The second will be Sunday, March 23. Long before the puck is dropped for both games, Allstate Arena’s Section 116 will be power-washed and cleaned to ensure fans with nut allergies can enjoy a game at ease. In addition, the arena’s concession stands will not serve peanut-related food items.
“We are excited to again be part of this great event put on by the Chicago Wolves,” said Kasey Moss, Enjoy Life Foods’ senior marketing manager. “Allowing those with food allergies, whether mild or severe, to attend an event they otherwise wouldn’t be able to is something Enjoy Life Foods is proud to support and be a part of.”