This is our baby. He is curious, sociable, funny, joyful, intelligent, and oh so lovable. He is not an allergy-kid. But he is a kid with food allergies.
Since August of last year we’ve been on the tree-nut free plan. One we thought was overwhelming at first, but one we have taken in stride and become educated around for the protection of our boy. We purged the house of all traces of tree nuts, learned all we could about signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and kept his Epi-pen in arms reach.
And then we learned his allergies extend far beyond tree nuts. We’re so very grateful to learn this through safe allergy testing and recognize that many parents are not as fortunate. We can’t even imagine what that experience is like.
Bennett’s last round of blood-work, after negative scratch test results, showed strong allergy to tree-nut, peanut, and egg. His soy and wheat allergy levels also came back elevated. I’m not gonna lie, this is all scary stuff. Food allergies are no joke. They are life-threatening and will haunt us if we let them.
But we will not let them. We will advocate. We will educate. We will protect. We refuse to let our fear be bigger than our faith. We refuse to let allergies define our son. This sweet, adorable, perfect little boy is a kid with food allergies. But he will never be an allergy-kid.
My PSA? Educate yourself. Don’t make assumptions about food allergies. This is not a preference or a choice. For kids like Bennett, this is life or death. We will fight and advocate for greater awareness, greater food labeling, and allergy-friendly environments until our last breath, because this boy -OUR BOY- is worth it.