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Sabrina's Law

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On the morning of September 29, 2003, Sara Shannon handed her daughter Sabrina five dollars for lunch, gave her a quick kiss and watched her walk into the bustling halls of Bishop Smith High School in Pembroke, Ontario. Four hours later she was standing in the emergency room of the Pembroke General Hospital watching helplessly as doctors and nurses struggled to save their daughter's life.

Only 13 years old, Sabrina Shannon died a day later of complications brought about by anaphylactic shock. Suspected cause of death: eating french fries served in the school cafeteria. French fries that she had eaten before, only this time the cafeteria was also serving poutine. All it would take is for the same tongs to be used in both dishes to set off Sabrina's anaphylactic reaction to dairy.

Since that tragic day, Mike and Sara Shannon have dedicated their lives to ensuring that what happened to their only daughter will never happen to another child. Sabrina was one of an estimated 1.2 million Canadians living with life-threatening allergies of which a significant number are schoolchildren.

Sabrina's Law talks to representatives from the anaphylaxis community who openly discuss this alarming health crisis, and introduces us to other parents of children at risk, such as Robert Kennedy Jr, who fight an up-hill battle for similar legislation in their communities and live in daily fear that their children will suffer the same fate as Sabrina Shannon.

Sabrina's Law follows the Shannon's journey as they struggle to deal with their daughter's death and embark on a heroic crusade for social change. In 2006, their efforts resulted in the creation of Sabrina's Law in the Province of Ontario. It is the first legislation in the world to protect children with deadly allergies. Today, their efforts continue to make Sabrina's Law a reality all over the world.

2007, 42 min 38 s

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