Peanut Allergy Patient Testimonials
Peanut Desensitization Program
Jack has been desensitized to peanut and receiving the maintenance dose. His mother reports: "In just a six month period, my son's life has changed dramatically. Diagnosed as an infant with a severe peanut allergy, he has lived his life in fear of a fatal allergic reaction, avoiding all baked goods that were not made at home, reading labels before ever taking a bite,and discussing his allergy with waiters at restaurants. We have kept a peanut-free home and he has gone to a peanut-free school and camp, to keep him safe and reduce the anxiety of his allergy. Now Jack is desensitized and able to tolerate the equivalent of three peanuts per day. He actually eats 3 peanut butter m&m's once a day, as his dose, and enjoys every bite. We no longer have a peanut-free house and he is no longer living in fear of an accidental ingestion. Jack is now able to go to parties, restaurants or friend's houses and eat without reading labels or discussing the ingredients with the waiters/chefs. He knows that he no longer has to worry about a fatal reaction, as he recently ate half a peanut butter cookie at a party by mistake and did not have a single symptom. In Jack's words, he feels liberated. More importantly, he no longer feels like he has a life-threatening medical condition that sets him apart from his peers and affects his daily life. We feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to be treated by NEFATC. The staff was incredibly friendly and supportive. The six months went by quickly and Jack had very few symptoms from his doses. The treatment process was very easy to do at home, with the doses being premeasured and provided to us by the Treatment Center. Jack is grateful for the care he received and happy to be starting his teen years now desensitized to peanuts."
Becoming part of this study has been remarkably life changing. Before I learned about the treatment, I had to be particularly careful about everything I ate. Being in the program now, I'm still cautious, but I know it works. On a recent trip overseas, I accidentally ate crackers with peanuts in them. Here's the best part: nothing happened! Now I'm not scared to go off to college in a year because I know that, thanks to NEFATC, I'll be safe. The treatment works to build up tolerance and prevent reactions in rare situations, like mine. Everyone with peanut allergies should strongly consider this, if not for the results, then for the peace of mind.
Hi, my name is Noah. I am 10 years old. My mom discovered my peanut allergy when I was 1 year old. My doctors said that if I were exposed to peanuts, there was a 95% chance that I would have a reaction. I was the first patient in the food allergy treatment, and 2 months ago I started eating peanut butter M & Ms. I had no reactions during the whole study. At the end you get to eat either M & Ms or candy bar recipes that NEFATC gives you. It is very safe and fun! Now I'm able to eat things that have nut traces. For example, now I can eat Kit Kats and Milky Ways. We can also go places without Mom bringing special food. For example, we went to a public event where there was cake and I ate it. Now we just have to look and see if there are actual peanuts in the product. I'm so glad that I did this study. If you have a peanut allergy, I strongly recommend you do it too!
Hi, I'm Noah's Mom. As Noah mentioned above, he has had a severe peanut allergy for most of his life. Noah went through the study without any reactions or complications. Here is a sample of an email that I sent to family and friends after he reached the top dose:
Here are just some things he's been able to do:
- Ride any where he wants on the school bus
- Eat a cake from a bakery
- Accept a birthday party invitation which involves eating at a restaurant
- Go with family to a friends' house for lunch without bringing his own "safe food"
- Sign up to participate in eating lunch that the school provides on Fun Day (like a field day)
- And of course, eat his required "dose" of 3 peanut butter M&Ms each day!
Our daughter Ella was diagnosed with severe food allergies at age 2 (She is now 6 1/2) – peanut being her most severe as we witnessed it first hand when she went into anaphylactic shock from a jelly bean size amount of peanut butter. Our world changed quickly as we were no longer worried about Ella hitting her developmental milestones, but rather could we keep her safe from deadly foods that are so common in our everyday lives. For the last 4 years we have been "helicopter" parents – always packing our own food and never letting her partake in birthday parties or other special event food unless we could read the ingredient list. This has been challenging on my husband and I, as well as extended family, teachers, close friends and all involved in Ella's life, and especially Ella, as she feels left out and disappointed to not be able to fully engage in activities "like the other kids". When we heard about the New England Food Allergy Center peanut study we jumped at the opportunity to enroll Ella and try to introduce the allergen rather than avoid it and be fearful. The study has truly changed our lives for the best. Ella has successfully hit the 383 mg level and is tolerating it extremely well despite her blood work from 1 year ago showing her peanut allergy of over 100. Ella had her first Dunkin Donuts munchkin 2 weeks ago at her kindergarten graduation (yes, a small thing to most of us, but a big triumph for Ella as she has never had a munchkin due to possible accidental ingestion knowing that Ella will tolerate it without the need for an immediate, life-saving emergency response – this is such a blessing in our lives. The doctors and staff at NEFAC have been wonderful to work with – very supportive and always there to answer questions and help us navigate the cross contamination). We all (extended family, close friends, teachers) feel more confident in the event of a small study based on Ella's needs. I would highly recommend it and look forward to enrolling my 4 year old son next year!