Kicked out of the Peanut Allergy Research Study

peanut allergy research on ice

During my last allergy appointment, I learned that one of the study participants developed an extremely rare and serious auto-immune disorder as a result of participating in this research. There is no cure for this condition at this time. I dedicate this post to my stricken fellow allergy fighter. I am grateful for their sacrifice and their bravery in being part of this research. Participating in highly experimental research is extremely risky and unpredictable.

Why do I choose to keep enrolling in studies, risking my health and possibly my life? I can’t not do it. This disease sucks. There is so much of life I have to be extremely careful about. I saw my friend’s toddler yesterday. He was super cute, and I wanted to give him a hug, but I couldn’t. He’d been eating peanut butter and got it in his hair, and skin, and probably clothes. I had to change out of my clothes as soon as I got home, because I was sitting in the area he was playing in. If I touch peanuts, my eczema immediately reacts and my skin starts to bleed. There is severe pain and itchiness along with with the blood. I wanted to avoid that. Normal everyday activities I’m enjoying become suddenly hazardous. I hate it and want it to stop. I want it to stop for everybody. I don’t want this disease to kill any more people. This is why I fight.

The following blog post was originally written in September of 2016.

I wrote about being a volunteer research participant for a new experimental treatment for peanut allergies in my last blog post. I was really excited to be part of this. I was scared, mostly because being part of this study involved eating peanut protein, but I was thrilled to be part of the research to help find a treatment and cure. Yesterday I found out that I have been disqualified for three months. They may not still be enrolling new participants in three months. And today, I am really bummed out.

Most of the mental energy I spent was dealing with the terror and fear of intentionally doing something that might kill me (eating peanut protein), and then after that of course, trying not to die (anaphylactic shock). Mostly. But today, I am sad because there was this other part of my mental energy that I was mostly not aware of until now.

I was secretly hoping that the treatment would work and that my life would be more normal, and my peanut allergy would be less severe. Being less allergic to peanuts would mean that I’d be able to eat at Chinese, Vietnamese, and even Thai food restaurants! My good friend was planning to take me to a Thai place where she told me she really wanted me to try a few delicious non-peanut containing menu items. I guess I won’t be able to eat that yummy food.
it’s made on the same equipment as peanuts. A trace amount could set off a potentially fatal reaction. I guess I won’t get to eat that chocolate.

And most of all, I was excited for the possibility of being less allergic. I was thrilled about being more like other people, having more options for food available to me. Living in less caution, and vigilance. Eating is a relaxing and nourishing experience for people. I want eating to be more relaxing and nourishing for me, instead of a life or death game of Russian Roulette.

I just want to enjoy the normal, nice things people do, like when someone brings a dozen donuts and pastries for their coworkers. I have watched my coworkers and friends eating these treats, with pleased and happy looks on their faces. I cannot eat the donuts. I must not eat that food. Cross contamination. The donuts could kill me. To me, that box of donuts is like a box of venomous spiders and snakes. That table everyone buzzes around is not a safe place.

It would be nice to feel a little more safe.

After my monster allergic reaction for science, I went home and slept. I called out of work the next day. I was too sick and weak. My asthma flared up terribly. I took prednisone. My asthma got a little better. I went to work the next day. My asthma was still flaring up. I took prednisone, as directed by my former primary care doctor, but less. The next day, I still struggled to breathe. My lungs were pissed off that I ate peanuts. I took less prednisone then I had taken the day before. I took half a prednisone the day after. I couldn’t not breathe. I didn’t want to return to the hospital. I would have ended up with a bill for a nebulizer treatment and a prescription to take prednisone. I’ve been hospitalized dozens of times for my asthma. I know the drill. I know how these things go.

When I returned to the next peanut experiment appointment, I was honest. About my terrible asthma and about taking prednisone. The doctor said that this disqualified me from the study for three months. Which isn’t fair because I only had to take that awful prednisone because I ate peanuts for science. But the rules are the rules. And I still think that honesty is the best policy, and I am going to continue to be extremely honest always.

Would I have taken the prednisone if I had known it was going to prevent me from being in the study? I don’t know. Probably not? I’m not sure. Large red spots appeared on my body, and disturbing sensations of itchiness occurred several times in the days following the allergic reaction. I struggled to breathe and I wheezed through suffocating asthma. My immune system was still trying to kill me. The prednisone seemed like the only way of telling it ‘Hey, calm down, stop reacting, I don’t want to die.’

The medical and scientific team told me that my reaction was the worst they had dealt with so far in this study. They are going to make some adjustments to make the study safer for participants in the future. Medical science and I learned a lot from my severe allergic reaction. I may be on the sidelines for now, but I am still cheering for my awesome team!

Yesterday, I hiked up Skyline trail on Mt. Rainier. I laid on a frozen lake of snow and ice.

The view was incredible. My life is amazing, and I continue to live it as fully as possible. I hope that I’ll be able to participate in three months, but even if I’m not able, I will continue to advocate, to write, create, and be awesome. Thanks for reading everybody, and please subscribe to my blog, -it’s free!

Dying for a Peanut Allergy Cure

peanut allergy cure

Living with a deadly allergy is a life of anxiety, fear, avoidance, and constant, constant vigilance. I read ingredient labels, I constantly scan the environment, I don’t eat out at restaurants with peanuts on the menu or in the kitchen. This allergy affects every aspect of my life, all day, every day. I am willing to do anything to help find a peanut allergy cure. Anything. And it almost cost me my life. I told the medical team that worked so hard to keep me alive, that my only regret was that I had only one life to give to eradicate peanut allergy.

This blog post was originally written in August of 2016

After an entire life of strict avoidance, I intentionally ate applesauce laced with peanut protein for the first time ever. I did it for science. I did it to help find a treatment, and maybe eventually a peanut allergy cure.

I consumed 44 milligrams of peanut protein. This is the equivalent of a little less than an eighth of a peanut. I became violently ill and went into anaphylactic shock. Had I not been in the hospital, I probably would have died. I vomited. I had diarrhea. My skin turned beat red and my entire body burned from the inside. I basically had Ebola for three hours.

The good doctors and nurses emptied their entire arsenal of emergency medication into my muscles and veins and managed to reverse the severe reaction.

I had come back from the brink of death again.

I recently enrolled in the Palisade Trial to investigate an experimental treatment for peanut allergies.

My peanut allergy is ridiculous, brutal, stigmatizing, and horrific. I blog about it. Obviously. It is terrifying to navigate this nutty world, avoiding peanuts, trying not to die. I wanted to do more than write, vent, and complain. I enlisted in the battle. This is my fight. I faced my greatest fear in order to help science figure out how to treat and cure this disease.

I printed out a piece of paper and took it with me to the hospital. It had photos of nine young, and beautiful people. All of them are dead. They died from accidentally eating peanuts. Fuck this awful disease. Nobody should die because they got hungry and ate the wrong food. Nobody should have to live like this, either. I was no longer accepting things I could not change. I was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to change the thing I cannot accept.

I wear an invisible badge of honor: I survived last Monday. I faced death, and I lived to see another day.

I was standing in line at the store yesterday. The line moved so slowly. The people in the line were stressed. It was very hot. I looked at the people. I saw the cashiers ringing up items. I noticed the managers standing around talking. After overcoming death, the business of life goes on. Nobody saw my invisible badge, but it was there. I savored and appreciated the moment and felt compassion for everybody in that whole store. I bought a casual pair of stylish dark gray pants.

I did all of my laundry at the laundromat Wednesday. I went to the store and bought detergent beforehand. The clerk was tall and had interesting glasses. I fed my kitty cat today, then I cleaned his box. The boring, tedious, mundane chores are sweeter. Life’s more precious to my heart this week than it was last. This is a real gift. Slowly this state of mind will dissolve and I’ll take everything for granted again, but I’m enjoying my moments. After having a near deadly allergic reaction, I deeply realize that every moment is a second chance.

This week, I’ve been less frustrated and angry. I’ve had a more positive attitude. It’s been good. My body is healing from the massive inflammation, and the steroids have made sleeping a struggle, but healing is happening.

The excruciating pain of an anaphylactic allergic reaction is almost indescribable. My palms, the entire surface of my body itched. My skin swelled up with welts all over my body. I turned red. I felt my body burning. I felt my throat swell up. That was exceptionally terrifying. I felt two injections of epinephrine, one in each arm. They didn’t feel like anything, tiny little drops on an agonizing sea of fiery pain. I tasted the crystalline salty ice of the saline solution the nurse injected into my veins on the roof of my mouth. The medicine affected my perception. I lost track of what was happening, lost track of conversations, I was so sick, and confused. I remember drinking ice water. It was nice and soothing to drink while my body felt that it was on fire. I remember the nurses going with me when I had to go to the bathroom. I was very happy about that. I remember getting up out of the hospital bed and wanting to run away from the pain. But I was trapped in this swollen, red, reactive body. And then I had a panic attack. Or maybe it was the anaphylaxis affecting my consciousness with a sense of impending doom. I think that I suffered the most during this panic attack. Fear. Terror. Blind panic. Looking down at my hands, I saw that my fingers were swollen like sausages and I became overwhelmed with dread and anxiety greater than that I have ever known. My ring would not come off my finger. I was trapped in metal, being measured by instruments, and the medical team kept pumping more and more medicine in my IV. I was initially very disappointed in myself, for letting fear take over. The compassionate nurse iced my swollen fingers, and tried to keep me calm. I was very grateful that she was there helping me. On reflection, maybe the panic attack was my brain’s way of squirting out more epinephrine to help reverse the reaction. My face was red hot. My neck and back boiled. Red welts covered my legs. My asthma flared up and it was a struggle to breathe. I took a couple of nebulizer treatments.

And then slowly, the the medication subdued the reaction. The allergic reaction subsided. The welts started disappearing. The redness drained from my skin. The fire burned itself out. I started to feel a little better. Life goes on.

I won that battle. I emerged victorious. I did the thing that I fear the most.

Tomorrow, I have another food challenge. I eat more peanut protein. It’s cool. I got this. I have emerged from this experience with a deep intuitive knowledge: I already went through the worst case scenario: eating peanut protein and violently going into anaphylactic shock. I tackled it, and I nailed it. Even if the worst case scenario happens again, I dealt with it once. My medical team and I can do that again if we had to.

We won this battle. We are poised and ready to win the war.

Anaphylactic Shock or Panic Attack? Identical Symptoms! -My Lunch Experiment of Terror to Know the Truth

Panic Attack

In addition to over 30 life threatening bouts of anaphylactic shock, I have also been diagnosed with Panic Attacks.

The freaky thing is: panic attacks and anaphylaxis have the same initial symptoms!!

Your throat feels like it is closing up and you feel like you are going to die!!

Is it true anaphylaxis? Or is it a panic attack?

During lunch today I decided to try an experiment and record my experiences to see exactly how identical anaphylactic shock and panic attacks actually are.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. If you are my parents, stop reading now.

I undertook this experiment on myself only because the data it would yield would far outweigh the risks. And I currently own two new Epipens, and have been practicing mindfulness meditation for over two years. I felt up to the task of recording my experiences objectively without judgment and responding accordingly. I have not have an actual panic attack in years. No way was I going to let my mind be overtaken by fear.

My motivation for the lunch experiment comes from listening to stories of other patients who donate blood at Benaroya Research Institute. Tthe study Coordinator was telling me about other peanut allergic donors experiencing terror and the symptoms of their throats closing up when peanuts are eaten around them and in the same room. One blogger,has continuously blogged about how her ‘throat closes up’ and she ‘cannot breathe’ and goes into “anaphylactic shock” when peanuts are nearby.

As a science enthusiast, these accounts make me extremely skeptical. According to the scientific research, unless a peanut protein molecule is inhaled directly, ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK IS IMPOSSIBLE. Peanut allergy requires direct contact or ingestion to light the fuse of a deadly reaction. My personal experience backs up the science.

What is going on here? The science directly contradicts the anecdotal accounts! Let’s take a look at anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylaxis doesn’t just occur with a single symptom, multiple bodily systems are affected. Wikipedia mentions similarities between anaphylaxis and panic attacks:

Differential diagnosis

It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish anaphylaxis from asthma, syncopy, and panic attacks.[2] Asthma however typically does not entail itching or gastrointestinal symptoms, syncope presents with pallor rather than a rash, and a panic attack may have flushing but does not have hives.[2]”

This is fascinating.

Scientific Method Step Number One: Question:

If medical professionals find it challenging to differentiate between panic attacks and anaphylaxis, how are peanut allergic people with no medical training supposed to know the difference?

I was going to find that answer through this experiment if it was the last thing I ever did! I have a deep faith in science, an unquestioning belief that the peer reviewed research on this subject was right on. I knew from the very core of my being, that science was correct.

And science tells us that eating and crunching peanuts next to a peanut allergic person will not cause an anaphylactic reaction.

My hypothesis: people with peanut allergies who believe that they are experiencing anaphylactic shock with only a couple symptoms including ‘throat feelings of closing up’ are actually experiencing panic attacks.

My hypothesis (II): people who say that they will go into anaphylactic shock just by being in the same room as someone eating peanuts are most likely reacting out of fear due to panic attacks, not actual anaphylaxis.

My hypothesis (III) Science is true. I am right.

I would like to mention that on the Wikipedia article about anaphylactic shock, there are only three things specified in the “management” section: Epinephrine, Adjuncts (corticosteriods and antihistamines), and Preparedness.

At no point in Wikipedia does it have any mention of “allergen free zones” in the management part of the anaphylactic shock article. This is important. Why would mainstream science not recommend the drastic peanut free zones that some allergy bloggers insist on? Why would Wikipedia overlook episodes of anaphylaxis if this fatal food allergy was actually airborne?

Answer and Prediction: Wikipedia does not mention them because peanut allergy is not airborne! Unless you are in a tiny pressurized cabin in an airplane and someone opens a dusty bag of peanuts, being in the same small room with someone eating peanuts will not cause anaphylaxis. It may make a peanut allergy person itch like Hell if hugs are given. Peanut allergic fear mongers are overreacting to peanuts in the environment are actually having panic attacks.

Test and Observations: Situation 1:

I was at this art gathering a few weeks back and people were eating and crunching peanuts in the same room as me. I shook someone’s hand, they’d been eating peanuts, I washed my hands, and then I wore gloves, I was safe. Didn’t eat any of the food and avoided the 3 snack tables. The hungry people ate their peanuts and I made some art. I am not a very good artist, so the art was probably terrible. But I had no reaction and I was fine.

I had to keep reminding myself, “I am safe, science is correct” over and over. Because being around peanuts when you are as deadly allergic as I am is downright terrifying.

My body is always aware of peanuts in the environment before my conscious mind is. My body knows. If someone has eaten peanuts in the room within a week, I know. My body feels a certain way, and I become alarmed. When traces of the smell or protein are picked up by even one of my 6 trillion cells my body goes into fight or flight and tells me, “DEADLY ALLERGY!! GET OUT OF HERE NOW!”

I have found that I can consciously override my fight or flight mechanism using mindfulness, logic, and reason.

I am a human being, not a primitive reptile fighting or fleeing from danger!

I don’t want to live life with my reptile brain and allow my amygdala (fear center) running the show!

I choose to embrace my humanity and live consciously, which means that I acknowledge, but do not succumb to The Fear.

Test Situation 2: Lunch of Terror.

The set up: I was hungry and decided to go out to The Than Brothers restaurant for a big bowl of pho, a type of Vietnamese noodle soup. Normally Vietnamese restaurants use tons of peanuts. The Than Brothers is one of the few that do not have any menu items containing peanuts. I’d eaten here 3 times before with no allergic reactions.

But there is always the possibility that a cook could have been eating peanuts as a snack and then chopped vegetables. I have noticed that Vietnamese people like to snack on peanuts a lot. People in general like to snack on peanuts, but I had a close call recently at a nail salon. While my pedicure was drying the Vietnamese lady left the room and when she returned she was crunching something. She went to put lotion on my leg, and as soon as she touched me, I literally jumped out of my chair (didn’t ruin my pedicure) and said, “Nooooooo!!!!!” She had been eating peanuts. She had peanut crumbs on her hands. Rinsed the itchy places on my leg where she had touched, took a benadryl and I was fine. I did not experience anaphylaxis and I actually had direct skin contact with the protein. I am a very lucky human being. But seriously, peanuts are a popular snack food with a lot of people.

Observations and Data: I walked in to the restaurant, sat down, and ordered my food. I told the waiter about my peanut allergy. He said the kitchen has no peanuts. I told him that it was a deadly allergy. He did not seem too concerned. Usually at this point, I ask to talk to the cook, manager, and explain the cross contamination danger. Today I didn’t. That part was stupid of me. I should have done this. If I had done this, my experiment would have been less effective.

I purposely did not take all the normal precautions in order to mindfully collect data and observe the thoughts of my mind and sensations of my body in a potentially deadly situation. I have a meditation practice. I know what to do when anaphylaxis occurs. Do not try this at home. I wanted to see how alike panic and anaphylactic shock actually were.

I am an idiot. In this experiment I went against what doctors advise their patients to do if they suspect a reaction. If a person thinks they are having a severe allergic reaction they are supposed to use the epipen right away.

The medical guidelines for anaphylaxis are immediate administration of the epipen if a person experiences hives and feelings of their throat closing up. If my doctor reads this I will get a real talking to. In this experiment I would cautiously suspend my freak out and subsequent epipen administration until my body displayed undeniable objective proof of an anaphylactic allergic reaction.

Sensations I experienced would be just that, sensations. I would let them happen and write down my experiences without judgement. I would not label the sensations as ‘anaphylaxis’ until I had objective proof. I would consider a physical blockage in my throat/mouth/palate, vomiting, cramps/diarreah, hives all over the body, and asthma/stridor (wheezing) undeniable proof and use the epipen. My body would need to convince my mind with objective physical symptoms, not my mind getting all freaked out, catastrophizing and using the epipen.

The vegetable pho arrived and I started eating. I was really present when I first started eating. The food tasted great I noticed all the complex flavors in the broth. Reality was very real. I looked at the sunny day outside, I looked at the fishtank. Not a thought in my head. Pure presence. The danger created a heightened sense of the present moment.

Worry and panic started to attack when I noticed my throat felt funny and scratchy. Panic in my body started to rise. Then the panic subsided. I developed a hive on my lower lip. I looked at my lip in the mirror. I got a little concerned. Probably just from the salt and spice. My concern subsided.

I had a mucous cough. I felt slight alarm. The alarm subsides. I felt itchy on my face and scalp. I got worried. I remembered that I am always itchy. Worry subsided. My throat did feel funny! Was it closing up? My last episode of real anaphylaxis where my throat did close up had a very specific feeling like I had something lodged in it. I drank some cool water. Water went down fine. No blockages there! This was all in my mind!

At any of these points, I could have overreacted, assumed anaphylactic shock was going on, used my epipen and gone to the ER. The ER would have observed me for 6-12 hours and validated my panic as anaphylactic shock.

At any point had the hive multiplied into more hives, if my asthma started worsening, if my stomach started cramping, if there was a physically present blockage in my throat when swallowing water, I would have shot myself up with the epipen and called 911. I stayed present to the sensations of my body and I refused to let my fear assume control.


Anaphylactic shock is a totally stupid overreaction that my body does.

My physical body is out of my control.

What I do have control over, is my mind.

I have a conscious choice whether or not I am going to overreact on the minor sensations that feel very similar to anaphylaxis.

People with severe peanut allergies like me who insist that they will go into anaphylactic shock from someone eating and crunching peanuts next to them seem to me to be irrationally overreacting. In my opinion, this is not true anaphylaxis, it is a psychological problem, a panic attack. As a peanut allergic person, I need to trust the good scientific research that tells us me that I am going to be fine. I need to feel the uncomfortable sensations when I am in close proximity to peanuts and consciously choose to be present, mindful, and not feed into my fight or flight response.

It’s probably a good idea to get away from the peanuts. It’s a horrible thing to be around, and if people are eating peanuts, they are probably touching things, and I don’t want to touch those things. Imagine the worst thing you’ve ever smelled. Then imagine that smell smelling ‘itchy,’ ‘hot,’ and ‘nutty-pungent.’ To me, peanuts smell worse than death. It’s maccabre.

Imagine having a loaded gun sitting on the table next to you.  That’s how I feel when people eat peanuts at the next table over.

So please understand if I ask you politely to refrain from crunching on peanuts when I am around. I can’t function as a human very well around lethal danger. I’m not trying to control people, I’m just asking you to be a little considerate. It’s impossible to be a happy healthy person when I am smelling that awful smell.

Just because my body overreacts to peanuts in close proximity doesn’t mean my mind has to.

Living with peanut allergy, I’ve become very familiar with the exact signs of anaphylactic shock, and I refuse to let fear hijack my brain into believing I am in danger when I am not. And if anyone believes that they are having an anaphylactic reaction, use the epipen. It won’t cause any harm if you are not having an acutal reaction.

Ultimately, I can’t control other people. And normal people get hungry and eat peanuts. I can only control myself.

My Dream to Eradicate Peanut Allergy

peanut allergy

Peanut allergy is deadly autoimmune disease I have lived with my entire life.

My peanut allergy is extreme. The helpful scientists at the Benaroya Research Laboratory say that my allergy is a 5. This scale goes to 6. I am “highly, highly allergic,” in the words of the Benaroya Institute Study Coordinator.

Staying alive is a daily struggle for me. I have to carry an Epipen with me everywhere, and I am never 90 seconds away from it at any time. If I ingest peanuts, I have 90 seconds to live. 90 seconds. I am just one person. Currently in this country, there are millions silently living with this potentially fatal disease. And as a society, we need to start taking action to curb this rising epidemic before it gets any worse. More and more fatal food allergies are being diagnosed every day.
With each day that passes, my inner resolve strengthens: I want to help science eradicate all deadly food allergies off the face of the Earth forever.

There is a lot of hysterical, inaccurate information out there.

My goal in this new blog is to educate the public with scientifically accurate information about peanut allergy. I know a lot about science, and I can [sometimes] write entertaining posts and articles.

Let me give you a little of my background. I majored in Biology and Chemistry at the University of New Orleans. I have worked in many DNA and ELISA testing laboratories. I know about science. I can read and understand articles on PubMed. I understand the scientific method.
Another strong core value of mine is public health. My brother works for King County Public Health. So did my grandfather. I grew up reading my grandfather’s old 1960’s CDC manuals and government issued books cataloging diseases. I am fascinated with Epidemiology (Epidemiology is the study (or the science of the study) of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.)

I find disease outbreaks fascinating. I love how people can come together to fight them even more.
I think the greatest accomplishment in all of human history is the eradication of the smallpox virus. This was accomplished with vaccines. I am strongly pro-vaccine.
Smallpox has killed more people in human history than every single act of war and violence combined. Because of the efforts of dedicated scientists and doctors, smallpox will never kill another person again.
My dream is that in my lifetime, scientists, doctors, and the public will join forces once again in a similar effort to eradicate anaphylactic food allergies forever. Before I breathe my last breath, I want to know that fatal food allergies are as extinct as smallpox.

As a society, we are not doing enough to stop this drastically rising epidemic. Science does not even know what causes food allergies. Smallpox is caused by the Variola virus. What are the triggering events for anaphylactic food allergies? Nobody knows! Science has a couple of ideas, like the ‘hygeine hypothesis,’ but the exact combination of triggering events remains vague at best.

I am 39 years old. I have had an anaphylactic peanut allergy since I was 2.  I have no idea what a peanut even tastes like. My generation was on the cusp of an epidemic of massive porportions. The number of people with peanut allergy (and other foods) has been increasing exponentially. Growing up, I was one of two people in my entire school district with fatal peanut allergies. Today in every classroom in the United States of America, there are two cute little kids in every classroom who could die if they eat the wrong food.
And that number is rising in every classroom on the planet.

Nobody should die because they were hungry and ate the wrong food.

Right now the CDC isn’t even tracking deaths correctly that were caused by food allergies. Deaths due to fatal food allergies are classified in many different ways: bronchospasm, hypotension, heart failure, laryngospasm, fatal asthma attacks, heart attacks, and sometimes anaphylaxis is listed. Sometimes. The cause of death is a term which refers to an official determination of conditions resulting in a human’s death. Right now we are classifying “fatal food allergies” according to the final bodily system that failed resulting in brain death. We do not even have a current, accurate count of how many people are dying each year.

On the CDC’s main “Diseases and Conditions” website, anaphylactic food allergies are not even listed. That’s a huge blind spot considering there are two children with deadly food allergies in EVERY US classroom.

How is it that the CDC keeps ignoring this looming threat to public health? The most recent information I could find about peanut allergies on the CDC’s website was from 2008. This is not okay. Public health is failing us. Various internet sources say the yearly death toll from food allergies is about 200-300. I suspect that number could be as high as 3,000 a year because of the misleading cause of death classification issue. The CDC needs to start tracking the death toll from food allergies in a manner consistent with an emerging epidemic. Currently, they are not. We can fight this war a whole lot better if we know exactly how many people are dying.
Death from peanut allergies is tragic and senseless. Each and every person who has died of food allergies matters and is important.
I have come extremely close to death many, many times. When I read about a food allergy death, I think, ‘that could have been me.’ But here I am.  A survivor. A very lucky human being.

I am starting this blog because I want to share my experience surviving with a chronic, fatal, autoimmune disease for which there is no cure. I want to provide accurate, helpful information to increase awareness and compassion for people with deadly food allergies. I am hoping my advocacy and platform can help prevent food allergy deaths from happening.

This epidemic is growing and needs to be stopped. How many more people have to die before we start paying attention? One more death from food allergies is one death too many.

Science has NOT cured Peanut Allergies!

When I tell people about my severe peanut allergy, I come across a lot of people who tell me about they’ve already found a peanut allergy cure.

People have been reading the headlines about peanut allergy studies. In reality peanut allergies have NOT been cured. Really. There is no cure for peanut allergies at this time. The recent studies describe a few hundred children in clinical trials that have been temporarily desensitized to small amounts of the peanut protein -for now, so far.  But in post-pubescent adults?  There are no promising studies, and no cure, in science, at this time.  But there is always hope.  That is the sucky reality of a person like me.

I have signed up for every research study about peanut allergies I see.

I was almost a research study participant, but I was kicked out of the study for being too allergic and too asthmatic.

If I do find hope for someone as allergic as I am, I will blog about it, I will tell you when I see you in person, I will Tweet it, I will yell and sing about it, trust me, you will know.

Why do articles constantly print this nonsense, that ‘peanut allergies have been cured?’  People read about the promising results of experiments and studies and think the results apply to everyone with the affliction.

Case in point: a recent article:

My rebuttal to this click-bait bogus fake news:

How can you say ‘peanut allergies have been cured?’  What about the minority of children in this group that weren’t cured?  This is a misleading thing to tell readers, most of whom are science enthusiasts, and some of whom work in the restaurant industry.

In my opinion this is a downright dangerous and offensive thing to say in a media publication.  Someone is going to read this article, who works in a restaurant, and then assume peanut allergy is not a problem anymore, and then not take people’s allergies seriously.  And when someone’s allergies are not taken seriously by people who work in restaurants, that person’s life is in danger.  Here is a link in which a peanut allergic person died after eating food from a restaurant:

My message to people who write this sensational fake news:  Knock it off.  Don’t publish headlines touting a “cure” unless a cure to peanut allergies is actually found that works for all individuals, children and adults, stricken with this affliction.

 Every time I take a bite of food, my life is in danger.  I could die.  If the bite of food I eat has peanut protein, I could die in as little as 90 seconds.  This is not a condition to take lightly, nor is it fun.  This is a serious issue and a big deal.  Please refrain from these sensational headlines that could jeopardize people’s lives.

Thank you