I am 35 years old and I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I live in Michigan with my husband and my two boys. We also lived outside of Rockford, IL for about four years. My boys are 17 months apart. The oldest turned four on November 28 and my youngest will be three on April 8. My four year old is highly allergic to peanuts and he is also allergic to some tree nuts. He was only tested for a couple of nuts and we know that he is allergic to almonds and he isn't allergic to black walnuts. To be safe, we have decided to stay away from all nuts until we get him retested later down the road. My youngest will be getting tested for peanuts and tree nuts this year.
After I learned and accepted my son's food allergy, I began to search online for a local playgroup for food allergic children. At the time, I was in another moms group and everyone was really nice, but I felt uncomfortable around any food being served and in the beginning, I just wasn't ready to answer questions or give explanations. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any such playgroup, so I decided to start my own and see if I could find any other moms living in my area. The name of the playgroup was The No Nuts Moms Group of Oakland County. It took a while to get any members and when I got my first member, I was so excited! The member didn't even live in Oakland County, but I didn't care. I was just happy to be connected with another parent who was dealing with the same fears. I eventually decided to change the name to No Nuts Moms Group of Michigan. The group was free and anyone who had a child with a peanut and nut allergy were welcome to join. I then started a Facebook page in order to get the word out about the group. I passed out flyers, I posted to any free online newsletters, and I connected with Boogie Babies, Macaroni Kid and Metro Detroit Mommy. They were so helpful in getting the word out about the moms group and I am so thankful for all of their help. To my surprise, moms from all over were joining my page. It was great! When I had 20 "Likes" on the page, I was jumping for joy. At this point, I decided to make this page a moms group for any one dealing with any type of allergy. There are so many allergy pages and resources out there that I never knew existed and most of us do not have the time to keep up with all of these stories and allergy updates. I decided that I wanted to provide this information on one page and also be able to connect with other moms in the process.
The No Nuts Moms Group has a main website and we are also on Facebook and Twitter. In addition to these sites, we also have 16 peanut and tree nut free playgroups located in Arlington, VA, Michigan, Belpre, OH/Parkersburg, WV, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, California, Naperville, IL, Springfiled, IL, Colorado, Richmond, VA, Winchester, VA, Buffalo, NY, South Jersey, Portland, OR and West Chester, PA. If you live in these areas and are looking to meet other mothers and children who are dealing with peanut and tree nut allergies, please check out our playgroups. It's FREE to join!
I hope this group can continue to grow and raise awareness to others. I want this group to be a place for all of us to go and share our fears and stories. I know the No Nuts Moms Group has helped me a great deal. I am learning so much about all food allergies and I am meeting some truly wonderful people. I feel like I always have a place to go and chat about my son's allergy and not feel judged or uncomfortable. My husband has been so amazing and very supportive, but we can't talk about food allergies all day long. This is where I can go and talk about it any time of the day or night.
I want to thank you all for being in this group. It has been very helpful to me and I hope to you as well.