Dreams Come True
By Allison Fogarty | Published on August 3, 2020 | 2 Minute Read
Have you ever had your dream come true? Did it make you feel like - WOW! I AM SO EXCITED!! Me too! I have had 3 BIG DREAMS come true for me; that is why I always tell people to DREAM BIG!
The first big dream-come-true that happened to me is when I was 23 years old. To explain this, I have to start at the beginning. When I was born in 1991, I was blue. Doctors could not suction my throat because my esophagus (eating tube) ended in a pouch in my throat. The bottom of my esophagus was connected to my trachea (breathing tube). I had surgery to fix that, but my trachea was damaged and I had to have a trach tube to help me breathe. Doctors told my parents that I would need to have that for my whole life. I also was born with Down syndrome. That made it harder for me too. I hated having a trach because people stared at me and I felt different. I felt sick most of the time. I had to cough a lot and it made me throw up a lot. I had to go to the hospital a lot. When I was 18 years old, my ENT doctor (Dr. Hotaling) thought that with some more surgery I might be able to get rid of my trach tube. I wanted to try this even though I was scared. It took me several years to work through a lot of problems, but I did it! And when I was 23 I did not have to have the trach tube anymore. Woohoo!
Dream-come-true number 2 is that I am the Chef and CEO of my own business. In 2017, when we moved to Florida, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida started an Entrepreneur Academy for adults with Down syndrome. My parents and I joined right away. I knew that I wanted to cook dog treats and sell them for my business. My business is called Doggy Delights by Allison LLC. I work very hard cooking dog treats. I make them myself, and my sidekicks (my parents) help me with the business stuff. It is amazing to be the boss and CEO of my own company. I love seeing how dogs go crazy for my treats!! Everyone always asks me what kind of dog I have, but I don’t have a dog. We have 4 cats, but our cats don’t care about treats. If you have a dog, you should definitely check out my website: DoggyDelightsByAllison.com. You will be amazed!
My most exciting dream-come-true is when I got to go to New York to be on The Rachael Ray Show in February of 2020. We cooked dog treats together. It was so AMAZING and she is so sweet and so nice! She has been my hero since I was 11 years old and had to get a g-tube in my stomach. I could not eat or drink by mouth for 2 years. It was TORTURE for me. BUT, instead of staying away from food, I started watching Rachael Ray cooking shows. I wanted to be able to cook just like her. She is my hero because when I watched her, I felt like she was saving my life. I didn’t feel sad about not being able to eat. That is when I decided that I wanted to become a chef for my job. You may be wondering – how did you get to go on The Rachael Ray Show?? Well, the last time that I was in the hospital, my mom and I were watching her show, of course, and during the commercial it said that if you wanted to be on the show, email and tell your story. I told my mom to email her and can you believe it – a year later they called us! We did a Facetime appearance on her show, and that is when Rachael asked me to come to New York to cook dog treats with her. I screamed and said, “YES! A thousand times YES!!”
My life has not been easy. I have been sick and miserable a lot. I know my parents were worried about me and weren’t sure that I could ever get a job because I feel sick so often. They always dreamed big and encouraged me to dream big, too. As Wilbur says in Hairspray, “You have to think BIG to be BIG!” and you should too!
About the Author
Allison Fogarty is a young woman who loves to cook! Her passion for cooking came about from her health struggles (tracheoesophageal fistula and cleft larynx along with Down syndrome), and then blossomed into her business - Doggy Delights by Allison. When not cooking up dog treats, she loves hanging out with her boyfriend, Brent, and singing along with musicals.