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Thank You to Anyone Who Has Helped My Child With Food Allergies

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Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 14 through May 20. I’ve been thinking a lot about how far we’ve come in regards to my son’s food allergies. We made it two years without any major food allergy reactions. (Knocks on wood.) My 6-year-old child is alive and thriving. He has learned so much and continues to get used to his life with food allergies. And we have you to thank for it.

To anyone who has helped my child with food allergies,

Some of you have children with food allergies, or you have them yourselves. Some of you have relatives, friends, students or co-workers with food allergies. Some of you teach my child. Some of you feed my child. Some of you come into contact with my child. Some of you don’t even know my child.

But all of you have made a difference in our lives.

You understand that a child’s life is literally at stake. You understand how difficult it can be to navigate this allergen-filled life. You don’t laugh at cruel food allergy jokes or comments. You speak up when my child or any children are bullied.

You show you care on many days, in a million different ways.

You keep my son’s allergens, which are all nuts, away from him. You don’t offer him food, drinks or candy. You wash your hands when you enter our home. You respect our wishes and needs. You always try to help keep him safe.

You watch him closely at school. You keep an eye on him while he’s on the playground. You send me food allergy articles and video links. You pray for a cure while donating to organizations who are trying to find one.

You give us hope.

You choose to walk with us on this difficult, and sometimes scary, road because you know we would do the same for you. You know the health and welfare of a child is of utmost importance, and that not eating certain foods to keep a child unharmed is a small sacrifice to make. A sacrifice you choose to make each and every time because you know my child’s life is more important than a bag of nuts or whichever allergen could hurt him or some other child. You know he is still learning how to live with food allergies, and that a kindergartner needs a lot of help to stay healthy and make good decisions.

You don’t roll your eyes at us or make disparaging online comments about those with food allergies, because you have the intelligence, depth and compassion to know we did not choose this life. You know that anyone can get food allergies at any point in their lives. About 15 million Americans currently have food allergies and millions more worldwide have them. You know this and have learned the symptoms and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector.

You have seen many pictures of children who have died from food allergies. You know that I carry these children with me each and every day, and hope that my child does not suffer the same fate.

You know my son had his first anaphylactic reaction at the age of 4; you know how scared I was and continue to be. You know how I watched his face turn a pale shade of blue, and saw him struggle for air, during other reactions that were exacerbated by his asthma. You know those memories haunt me daily.

Boy wearing a jacket over a t-shirt that says food allergy wars and has an illustration of a boy holding a lightsaber

You know that when I look at my son, I still see a little baby. A baby created by love, a baby I will always love. A baby I will always protect no matter how old he is. A baby I cradled in my arms, a baby who is now a little boy. A boy who happens to have food allergies. A boy any mom would do anything to protect if he were her own.

Thank you for being able to put yourself in my shoes, and for realizing that my son’s life is as precious as your own child’s life. You know I will do anything I can to protect your child, and all children.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping my child with food allergies. I am forever grateful for wonderful people like you. May my child always be surrounded by such love.

May that love follow him wherever he goes.

His Mom

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Originally published: May 15, 2017
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