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Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008
A Heartwarming Story
So often, food allergies are in the news with a negative spin. Whether it be a lawsuit against a company for making a mistake (whether deserved or undeserved) or a child intentionally trying to harm another with an allergenic food. There has been some good educational press lately, but you rarely hear the good, positive and heartwarming stories.

I got an e-mail from a very good friend of mine this past week. She lives in California and we met during our battles with infertility. She recently attended an 8th grade graduation ceremony for the child of a friend. This is the story she sent me.

... on Friday night! We went to the 8th grade graduation for the daughter of one of our best friends from college. It was a wonderful ceremony. Each student had picked the name of a fellow student at random a few weeks ago, and they had to write an introduction of their classmate. Then the person who was introduced made a short speech, reflecting on their time at the school and what it had meant to them. (This is a small private school that goes K-8, so some of the kids had been there for 10 years!)

Anyway, one of the girls came up to make her speech and she started talking about all of the challenges she'd faced during her time at school, including several serious food allergies. She then said, with a huge smile, that she'd finally outgrown her dairy allergy this past year, and all her fellow graduates erupted into a spontaneous cheer for her. She went on to describe how, when she found out that she was no longer allergic, several of her friends got her a huge bag of goldfish, and they all sat with her while she got to eat her very first one. It was really touching to see how grateful she was to her friends for supporting her throughout the time she had the allergy.

I immediately thought of Kayla and so fervently hope that she will have this kind of support and understanding from her peers as she manages her allergy--and, of course, that one day, she too will be able to say that she USED TO have a dairy allergy. Keep the faith, hon!

Every time I read this story, it brings tears to my eyes. Not just because this girl finally outgrew her allergy, but mostly because of the support and love she received from her friends. Yes, there are kids out there that are cruel and will do dangerous things. But I truly believe that most kids, when given the chance and freedom to act on their own, have an amazing capacity for compassion and understanding. I have witnessed children's desire to either make an environment safe for Kayla or find her a safe alternative. I have seen this in my own nephew and her friends at preschool.

Of course my hope is that Kayla outgrows her allergy WAY before 8th grade, but if she does not, my strongest desire (aside from her safety) is that she has friends and classmates like this 8th grader. Friends that support her during her allergy and rejoice with her when she finally does outgrow it.

posted at 8:38 PM  

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

that is such a heartwarming story!

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Christine said...

That's wonderful Sue.

When I think about Josh going to school,my heart was so warmed by the students in his class who watch out for him, and he has to go to the nurse with a buddy, so of course everyone wanted to walk him to the nurse's office.

As he gets older, I'm praying that he will continue to have the support of his friends about his Diabetes, that they can be there for him, when I can't.

Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. It does give some hope that their our awesome kids out there who care about the well being of each other.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Christine said...

I got teary reading that! What a special story!


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