Stephanie shared her background and food allergy story with me and I am very thankful she has allowed me to share it with all of you. Stephanie started her food allergy journey when she was diagnosed as a teenager. She is anaphylaxis to peanuts and tree nuts and also has has intolerance to bananas and milk. Stephanie had to face one of life's most difficult challenges, when she lost her husband during her pregnancy
Once Aeverie was diagnosed with food allergies, things changed a lot for them. Play dates stopped and friends that were once friends were no longer there. Going to the park was also a challenge because Stephanie felt like she needed to disinfect anything Aeverie touched so they only go to the park when children are in school. Less people so less dangers and wiping. Stephanie said, "It's been hard but family has always been our best support."
Stephanie will never forget the day Aeverie had an anaphylaxis reaction to a salad dressing containing walnuts. They were at a gathering with some family and friends and Stephanie had packed her daughter gluten free pasta. Someone at the gathering suggested that Aeverie have salad, so Stephanie said it was ok since her daughter loves her vegetables. A good friend had asked Stephanie what her daughter was allergic to and she told him. She remembers seeing her friend moving the salad dressing bottle with a suspicious look. Five minutes had passed and Stephanie looked at the dressing and found out it was a berry walnut dressing. Stephanie Immediately ran over to her daughter to check on her and she appeared to be fine. Stephanie took the salad away from Aeverie. About an hour later, Aeverie was having trouble breathing; she had hives and went into respiratory arrest. Stephanie then Injected Aeverie with the Epipen and rushed her to the emergency room. While they were at the hospital, Aeverie had a seizure. Stephanie said that she was very upset with everyone at the gathering because they knew of her daughter's allergy and still said nothing about the dressing. In the end Stephanie blames herself for not checking the dressing, but she is very thankful that she acted fast and Aeverie is ok. Stephanie has learned that when in doubt, leave it out and make questions your number one friend.
Stephanie hopes that when her daughter goes school, it will be safe and that others will be more aware of the dangers of food allergies.
We are so happy for Stephanie and her No Nuts Group of Orange County. She wants this group to be a place where kids can make lifelong friends and mothers can also have support.
If you live in California, come out to the Los Angeles FAAN Walk at Long Beach on October 21 at 11:00 AM. Stephanie and her group plan on raising money for new food allergy research.