Megan Hanna describes the challenges of raising and protecting a young child with life-threatening food allergies.
My son Joseph, when he went to kindergarten, they made him sit by himself at a table at the lunchroom. Yeah, it was pretty upsetting because I didn’t find for probably about a month into school. When I went in, I finally said, "You know, he needs to sit with people because this is unfair." He hates that he's different, no one wants to be the kid that's different. As a parent I guess I am sad for him because when I grew up, I never had to worry about anything like this. And he's constantly having to worry about what’s safe for him. We're constantly battling Joseph's food allergies because we don't always know when he's going to be safe. I just don't want him to live so scared of food because whenever we go places, he's so scared of who's eating what, who's going to touch him, or who's going to go near him and will he even be able to eat? I was shopping at Costco with the kids and I gave Joseph a sample of a cashew and he was like, "My tongue really hurts, my throat is starting to hurt." He’s having a hard time breathing, his whole body was covered in hives, wouldn’t stop throwing up. So I finally gave Joseph the epipen and we drove to the hospital. I’ve never seen any reaction like that before and they keep saying that if he has it again, it will just get worse and worse. This is serious,our kids can die. I think we feel a lot safer because of National Jewish Health; we Are forever grateful to them. They’ve been a resource for us and an advocate for Joseph and if we don’t do something to cure these kids or at least help them, what’s going to happen when I’m not there? We need to do something about this.
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