My son plays hard, sometimes too hard.
My son is goofy, resilient, and sometimes fresh (he is 11 years old, after all).
My son is a good kid with an infectious smile who loves to laugh and skips when he is happy.
My son is fearful. Not fearful of the boogie man or his latest addiction, Big Foot; he is afraid of food.
Touching food, smelling food and people eating near him. He is afraid to go into relatives' homes because he knows their younger children touch toys, couches and the remote with their sticky fingers.
My son has life-threatening allergies to all tree nuts and peanuts. Although he does not remember his first anaphylactic reaction (anaphylaxis is a serious, rapid allergic reaction and may cause death) at the age of 1, he does remember his second reaction at the age of 7.
Food allergies change the way a family lives. We cannot just go out to dinner or say yes to sleepovers, play dates and birthday parties. Each member of our family lives with fear inside, fear of what waits for this boy on the bus each morning, on the playground, at the movie theater ...
May is Food Allergy Awareness Month. For my son and all of the other children and adults living with life-threatening food allergies, I hope you will take a moment to learn more about what life is like for us and how perhaps you can make a difference. Just making sure your children wash their hands before getting on the bus each morning could save someone's life. Maybe you will learn about food alternatives like WowButter--made with soy rather than peanuts. Maybe you will learn why it is so important to read labels and that “processed in a facility that also processes nuts” is just as dangerous as a label that reads “may contain nuts.” Please take a few moments to view the following short videos and maybe perhaps one mom or dad will sleep a little easier tonight.