EAGLE, Idaho — An Eagle family is raising money to increase awareness about food allergies and improve access to epinephrine auto-injectors following the death of their 13-year-old daughter in May.
The Idaho Press reports Reese Langer, 13, of Eagle, ate a dessert she thought was safe at a cheerleading banquet on May 16 and had a severe allergic reaction. She died May 20.
Langer was diagnosed with food allergies at a young age and “was great about knowing what foods she couldn’t have and where those ingredients would likely be hiding,” Langer’s family wrote on ReeseStrong.love, a website the family set up following her death to spread awareness about allergies and give EpiPens to those in need.
“We will always remember her sweet spirit, pure heart and infectious smile,” her family said.
“She lived life with the utmost kindness and innate ability to make those around her feel loved and included. Reese was fun, bubbly, and an amazing friend to all. You couldn’t know Reese without loving her.”
Photographs posted on social media showed friends, family, and classmates from Eagle Middle School gathered at the Galaxy Event Center at Wahooz in Meridian to celebrate Langer’s life.
EpiPens are an injection containing the drug epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, which can help open the airway during anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can affect a person’s breathing.
The cost of epinephrine has soared in recent years, and though alternatives are available, for those without insurance in the United States a two-pack of the generic Adrenaclick sells for nearly $110.
“Many children (as well as adults) are afraid to eat outside of their own home in fear of ingesting something that may put their body into anaphylactic shock,” wrote Langer’s family on ReeseStrong.
“EpiPens expire every year. In 2020, the average retail price for a two pack is $669.82, which is the amount a person may pay without Medicare or other prescription drug coverage. The average retail price of a two pack generic EpiPen is $396.41,” the family wrote.
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