Kenton Duty was in Washington, D.C. last week as an advocate for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Kenton spoke on Capitol Hill with congressmen and senators to support the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. The legislation would encourage states to make sure schools have access to epinephrine when a child has an allergic reaction at school. With epinephrine well-stocked in schools, they’ll be able to save students who accidentally consume a food product of which they’re allergic.
This legislation comes on the heels of the death of Amarria Pendleton, 7, who died after eating a peanut at school, of which she was allergic. Kenton has been heavily involved in the non-profit organization and continues to support a cause that will inevitably save countless children.
Check out these photos from Kenton’s week in Washington, D.C.!
More on Kenton Duty and FAAN:
Studies have shown that teens with food allergies are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors related to their food allergy. That’s part of the reason 16-year-old Kenton Duty is speaking out on behalf of the food allergy community.
Kenton, an actor who has appeared on the acclaimed television series “Lost” and is currently on the cast of Disney’s “Shake It Up,” is allergic to chocolate. His dad is allergic to milk, wheat, and chocolate. Kenton outgrew a milk allergy, but found out he was allergic to chocolate when he was 12.
“Your food allergy becomes a way of life,” Kenton said.
Kenton has two sisters, 12-year-old twins Jessica and Rebecca, who are very helpful when it comes to managing the family’s various food allergy challenges.
“My sisters are awesome,” he said. “They tell others about my allergies, so I am not the one always having to bring it up. They are very proactive in awareness for food allergies, especially since my dad has to be so careful.”
Kenton’s ascending career in Hollywood happened almost as a fluke. His parents enrolled him in musical theater camp to help him learn how to project his voice and get comfortable speaking in front of audiences because he was required to deliver presentations in third grade.
Since then, he has earned roles in several feature films that have enabled him to work with some of Hollywood’s most popular actors, including “Crazy on the Outside” starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver.
“I currently play Gunther on ‘Shake It Up,’” Kenton said. “I had the wonderful opportunity to create the character from scratch.”
Kenton is very careful on set, where catered meals are a part of the work day.
“On set, they ensure I have something without chocolate,” he said. “I read ingredients all the time. When I’m at a restaurant, I ask the server to provide the ingredients for all the foods. I always let people know my diet restrictions.”
Speaking up is a particularly important message that Kenton wants to share.
“Don’t be afraid or shy about speaking up at school, friends’ homes, or restaurants,” he said “Try not to be hurt if others don’t understand or tease you. I know that is easier said than done. Your health is the most important thing.” (FAAN)
To find out more, visit FoodAllergy.org