Hi! My name is Evan and I am twelve years old. I have a severe airborne peanut and tree nut allergy. For me, transitioning from elementary school to middle school was harder than I expected. My elementary school was very good about my allergy and the people there really watched out for me. When I began middle school, I quickly realized I would have to be very aware of my surroundings in order to keep myself safe.
Even though my allergy is very bad, I still have a normal childhood. I enjoy golfing and play on a team. My coach does not provide any peanut or tree nut snacks, but other coaches might. There have been times when the other team's coach brought peanut butter crackers and granola bars. When something like that happens, I have to leave my teammates and stand somewhere away from the peanut snacks. I am also part of my church youth group and enjoy hanging out with them. When they go to different restaurants, I have to check to be sure it is a safe place for me to attend. If food is provided at the church, I have to be sure it does not contain any nuts.
I wish that all food production companies would label their products more effectively to limit the amount of allergic reactions that occur. Because of poor labeling, I have reacted to a food that was always thought of as safe for me. This food was cross contaminated and no warning of this was posted on the packaging. In some countries, the food companies are required to label for cross contamination or other dangers. I wish companies in the United States would take the time to better label their products.
Throughout my years of dealing with my allergy I have found that oftentimes those who do not have food allergies don’t understand the severity and sometimes even ignore the risk. I wish people would take the time to look out for those in danger of having an allergic reaction to foods. I also have experienced kids who find food allergies to be a joke. Many kids do not take my allergy seriously because they do not have any personal experience in dealing with this. What they don’t realize is they are putting me in danger by not taking this seriously. It is hard to be made fun of for something that I know I will deal with for the rest of my life. I also have a hard time looking at an ice cream store or candy shop, knowing I can’t go inside and buy something. Though my allergy is bad, I am thankful to be happy, healthy and loved. I am also thankful to have information on how to stay safe from dangerous foods.
About the Author: Evan is a middle-school student who manages a severe peanut and treenut allergy. In addition to golfing, he enjoys playing drums and riding his dirtbike. Thank you, Evan, for being a guest author on Food for Thought and sharing your story with us! You're truly an inspiration (and an incredible writer)!
Food for Thought is the blog for the Food Allergy Alliance of the Mid-South. FAAM's mission is to provide food allergy support, education, advocacy, fellowship & fun for Memphis, TN and surrounding areas.
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