Food Allergy Fact

UP TO 15 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U.S. HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY

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True Stories - Christina

Christina P.

Tree Nut Allergy


Christina was just two months old when she experienced her first allergic reaction – her mother, who was eating mixed nuts, had picked up her dropped pacifier and Christina experienced an immediate reaction when her pacifier was placed back in her mouth. She was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with food allergies.

By the time she reached eighth grade, as Christina describes it, she was a “walking talking food allergy.”

“But I never let it define me,” Christina said. “I was a competitive dancer, taking classes for 10 hours a week. Although I was making great grades and performing my best at dance, I still couldn’t change the fact that I had severe life-threatening food allergies.”

After experiencing many reactions, Christina’s parents made the decision to have her home schooled by her district for three years. She made the best of the situation – continuing with her dance classes and volunteering at her local nursing home twice a week. She even competed for Miss Massachusetts Junior National Teenager and won the title.

She then started an organization, Food Allergy ABC’s, to help other kids who have food allergies, giving speeches at preschools and elementary schools about keeping kids with food allergies safe. She also talked to parents of children with food allergies at City Hall, and appeared on the mayor’s live television show to raise awareness about food allergies.

After being homeschooled for part of her high school experience, Christina decided she wanted to go back to school. She had grown out of some of her food allergies and went back for her junior year.

“I made it through with just one reaction. It was truly a miracle. After my reactions in school when I was younger, I feared that I would never get to go back into a classroom setting,” Christina said.

Now Christina goes to all of the high school football games, went to prom and serves on the yearbook committee. “Although my food allergies are a huge struggle, I know they have made me who I am today. They have taught me to have faith that anything is possible, and to always believe in miracles.”