LYNNFIELD, MA – When he was 12 years old, Matthew Ciampa of Lynnfield had a problem. He lived with a life-threatening peanut allergy and needed to carry allergy medication with him at all times, but his basketball uniform didn’t have any pockets.
Rather than let his allergy sideline him, Ciampa found a solution. He designed an athletic sock with a secure pocket large enough to carry his allergy medication. Then he realized many other children with food allergies would benefit from his socks. According to the Center for Disease Control, eight percent of U.S. children, nearly 6 million kids, have a food allergy.
“For kids with allergies, having an easy way to keep your medication with you offers freedom to pursue all the activities you love,” said Ciampa. “And there is less worry for you and your parents.”
Today, his dream of helping children with allergies across the country is becoming a reality. The trademark for his Treasure Socks was approved in December 2020 and production of the new product is now complete. The socks will retail for $16 and are now available for sale at treasuresocks.com. A portion of the proceeds of Treasure Socks will be donated to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to support food allergy research.
Ciampa’s Treasure Socks could be lifesaving. According to FARE, teenagers and young adults with severe allergies are at the highest risk for fatal anaphylaxis because they often forget their medicine, misplace it or simply don’t want carry it all the time. Ciampa knows the ideal situation for people at risk of anaphylaxis is to have their medication physically on them. Yet an alarming study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Allergy Clinic found that only 40 percent of children with severe food allergies regularly carried their medication with them.
Ciampa, now a 10th-grader at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts is an honor student, member of the Spire Society and three-sport athlete competing in soccer, basketball and volleyball. He also volunteers in the Children’s Food Allergy Buddies Program at MassGeneral Hospital.
The product launch is the result of four years of planning. Ciampa has been working with a patent attorney, sock manufacturer, Young Entrepreneurs Academy and MassChallenge to bring his idea to market. FARE named him a Rising Young Innovator of the Year finalist, and he presented Treasure Socks at the Teen Summit competition in Newport Beach, California.
Reporters can schedule an interview with Ciampa by contacting Kathy Ciampa (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 617-901-2879.