Ally’s beauty was obvious to everyone, and her physical beauty was only outdone by her spiritual beauty. Helping others feel special by doing their hair and makeup was something that Ally did frequently for others. This type of inner beauty was also on display when she was with children—whether with her little brother, younger cousins and students she worked and played with either as a day camp counselor or volunteer at Autism camp. Ally’s love of children even inspired her to pursue a career as an early childhood teacher.
She exemplified a brightness that shined in the way she dressed, the bounce in her step, and most importantly, the twinkle in her eyes. It also shone on the sidelines as a high school cheerleader and on stage in a drama production. She was naturally the life of the party wherever she went and whatever she did.
Ally had a true joy about her, a lust for living life that was infectious. She was funny, engaging and always made the most of any situation. Ally had a mischievous side, too but whatever she got herself into, it didn’t matter, because to Ally, the end did justify the means, and that kind of fun was just part of the cost of enjoying life to the fullest.
Allison Rose Suhy was a very special gift—one that her family and friends were blessed to enjoy for her 18 years.
Throughout her short life, Ally always lived with a food allergy. Diagnosed with a severe nut allergy as a toddler, Ally’s family, and their tight knit community, were aware and understood that eliminating nuts from any foods she either ingested, or came in contact with, was critical. Ally’s food allergy did not define her. And while it was a part of her everyday, she continued to live and experience life like everyone else.
During her childhood, Ally, like many others, felt secure knowing her school created a safe haven by seating her at the “no peanut table,” her parents were sure to identify ingredients in classroom or birthday party treats and her friends knew that sleepovers could not include any candy with nuts. While her food allergy was life threatening, the education that Ally’s family had been given, and then provided to her inner circle, created a worry-free cocoon where her food allergy never seemed to be cause for concern.
Therefore, when Ally was accepted, admitted and excitingly began planning for her freshman year at Ohio University, neither she, nor her family, contemplated that leaving this familiar safety net could change her life forever. Ally instantaneously thrived at Ohio University even before she officially moved onto campus. Immediately making best, and lifelong friends, identifying as the “mom” in her dorm, joining her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, and loving everything that college had to offer. In the short three months she got to experience this new life, it was the happiest her family had ever seen her.
Then, the weekend of November 3, 2017 became one that her family and friends would never be able to forget. It was her first Dad’s Weekend at Ohio University and Ally had a weekend full of activities she was excited to experience with her own dad. Within a couple of hours after saying goodbye to her dad that weekend, Ally’s family received the call that every food allergy parent dreads. She developed an anaphylactic reaction and was being taken, by ambulance, to the nearest hospital. She immediately had to be airlifted to a larger hospital where, after days, the lack of oxygen she endured during anaphylaxis took her life.
Food allergy families should not have to experience these untimely deaths. Everyone living with a food allergy deserves to feel free of worry and secure that the safety net they left behind during childhood will only continue to evolve no matter where life takes them.