The smiles you see in this video represent hundreds of food-allergic kids who have conquered food allergies through Oral Immunotherapy. The words to the music say it all. OIT gives kids the freedom to eat foods they once feared.
No wonder they’re smiling!
"- Natasha WWe no longer worry about checking labels or bringing our own food to holiday events. Camden is able to eat any items she wants without worry!"
"- Lucas BBefore you check out other success stories below see this great video on Lucas and the story of his OIT journey!"
"- Jacque & KirtFun, freedom and peace of mind! Words can’t express how relieved we feel about our kids being able to eat whatever they want. We don’t have to have the dreaded discussions with family members and friends about why the kids can’t eat what they made or are serving. We don’t have to try to educate people about reading labels and how to use the epipen. Kids can enjoy holiday parties at school, partake in bake sales, cookie walks, treats after church. Kids can make cookies processed in a facility with nuts for Santa. : ) Thanks, Dallas Allergy!"
"- Heather WI can not describe how life changing the OIT program has been for my son and whole family. My son has gone through middle school and will be entering high school free of food allergies. I remember the constant worries I had that he would have a reaction. These are enough worries as he is gaining independence. I am so thankful that a food reaction is not one of them! Additionally, he is a more confident kid without the constant worry of a reaction."
"- Jacque CIt is such a blessing to not worry about the food allergy wherever the kids go. It’s like a “new-found freedom”!"
Thank you Dallas Allergy!
"- Stacia and Jasyn HTo hear your child has food allergies puts fear in your heart and mind. Medicine has come so far and the OIT is an amazing, life changing process. While the first time you feed your child what their body is allergic to seems a little unnerving, the staff of Dallas Allergy Immunology educate and encourage you each step of the way. We have so appreciated their assistance with the small questions as well as their guidance through any bumps along the way. In the beginning of the process, it was nice having hope our son could be around peanuts without an adverse reaction; at the end of the process, we feel relief and gratitude for all the help the entire staff has given our family."
"- Jen KMilk desensitization changed not only my daughter’s life, but mine as well. As a nurse practitioner, I am skilled at recognizing allergic reactions. However, nothing prepares you for having to administer a shot to your own child during an emergency situation. As Olivia grew older it became harder to watch her give herself a shot. Two years later, she is still discovering new foods she had never been able to eat before. Last week, she had her first taste of a Hershey Chocolate bar."
We thank the staff and doctors at DallasAllergyImmunology for this therapy – it has truly changed our lives!
"- Natalie GWhen we started desensitization at Dallas Allergy, I was scared to drink the milk. My parents always told me to stay away from milk. Dr. Wasserman was very reassuring and convinced me to drink it. After every new milk dose, he would watch me carefully and check my vitals to see if I was having a reaction."
By the time we got to week three without a reaction, I gulped it down without blinking an eye. After the final dose, I was fine and everyone congratulated me. They took pictures of me and were so excited about my progress. Later, Dr. Wasserman gave an interview with Channel 5 about the whole process. I am so lucky to have Dr. Wasserman as my doctor.
"- Hilary BAbsolutely life changing and we have not even finished peanut OIT yet! Not having to constantly worry about people eating peanuts around us and not have to constantly wipe hands, shopping cart handles and more … definitely a bright future ahead!"
"- Lori BI am so very glad Rose went through OIT. She is no longer excluded from activities due to her allergies. She was contact anaphylactic and she is no longer scared of children walking around with Snicker’s bars and the like. She has done several, week-long sleepover camps that would have been much more difficult, if not impossible prior to her OIT."
Our family can travel more easily, including areas would be a barrier when worrying about food preparation or ingredients. School and social activities are safer for her and the level of anxiety in her life, and ours, is so much lower. She still carries her Epipens, but has not needed them.
She does not like peanuts or peanut butter, but gladly tolerates the daily dosage as a means towards allowing her the freedom from worry about her allergy.
I would highly recommend the OIT program. It has changed our family’s lives.
"- Jennifer SMy son has completed the egg and peanut desensitization and we couldn’t be more thrilled. It has affected everyone in the family and has made his life so much easier! He begin with the egg desensitization when he was 5. This was pretty difficult to complete because he was so young and he didn’t really understand the impact of what he was doing. He completed the peanut desensitization when he was 9. It was much easier this time around and he was very anxious to complete this one."
He had his 9th birthday right after he finished the peanut desensitization and we ordered a cake for him!! He loves being able to go to birthday parties and to friends houses and not have to worry about what he is going to eat. When we go out to restaurants now he orders whatever he wants, including dessert, and he is just so happy about it!
We did this originally so he would be safe if he happened to come in contact with either egg or peanut. I knew I couldn’t protect him forever and one day he would be heading out on his own. I just wanted peace of mind and I also wanted to give him the same opportunities that folks that do not have food allergies have.
What I didn’t realize or grasp at the time is how it would change his life on a daily basis. While he does not like eating the egg powder everyday, he doesn’t complain because he knows what it’s like to be allergic to it. He is so happy to be included in everything, to be able to sit with all of his friends at lunch, and to not worry that he will have an allergic reaction when eating food.
We thank Dr. Wasserman and Dallas Allergy for providing our son with this incredible opportunity. It has changed our lives forever and we are just so thankful that Dr. Wasserman has gone above and beyond to be able to offer it to his patients.
"- Bry KBoth of our children have food allergies to peanuts and our son, Hogan, was deathly allergic to milk. I had read about the process for a few years in magazines and online, and as soon as our son could begin the desensitization process for his milk allergy at the age of 5 – we did."
At that time, our daughter, MacKenzie began her treatment for peanut allergy, as well. The process changed our life! It is the best decision we ever made regarding the health and safety of our children. DallasAllergyImmunology and Dr. Wasserman are professional, honest and take their time with each individual child. They were very thorough, extremely patient, and were available when we had more questions or called to talk to someone. Our daughter finished the program in 6 months, but our son’s treatment took about a year because of the severity of his milk allergy.
I have never regretted or questioned our decision to do this for our children. Both children are going to camp this summer and that is something we never thought possible.
"- Stacey HMy son is now 12 and he was 3 when he was diagnosed with peanut allergy. We missed a lot of things: vacations, Disney cruises, Halloween. The kids didn’t even know what Halloween was. When Nate finished desensitization October 21st, ten days before Halloween, he decided to go as a Bag of Peanuts for Halloween. It was hilarious. He had conquered it. And it was a real victory for us. I sent the video to everyone we know."
It’s amazing how free our life is! It has been a great change for the whole family. And looking into the future, I know that my son can do what he wants without the isolation. He’s safe and he knows he’s safe.
It’s been absolutely life changing!
"- Tyson WTyson was diagnosed and treated by our local allergist at age 3 and a half, with a reaction and trip to the ER after eating a quarter of a cashew. Blood testing also informed us that this allergy included pistachios. We had suspicions of raw peanuts and the blood tests supported allergens to peanuts, although he ate peanut butter prior to any reaction."
Our pediatrician shared information about Dr. Wasserman and his OIT with us at one of our annual well-child visits. I sat on the information for about a year and a half. You see our encounter with cashews and pistachios was fairly easy to avoid. However, the EpiPen was a constant reminder that any unknown contact at anytime could be a life threatening situation for our child.
A food challenge ruled out the peanuts (as Dr. Wasserman figured it would). I as a mother wanted a definite YES or NO. I appreciated Dr. Wasserman’s consideration of my concerns and his willingness to let us proceed with the peanut food challenge. Although Tyson has never preferred the taste of nuts, he has been pleasantly surprised at his enjoyment of foods containing peanuts, especially Snickers and ice cream bars such as Drum Sticks, that he could never have before. Our family can now relax and eat at Texas Road House without concerns over the nuts served there.
During Tyson’s first challenge, which was for cashews, people would ask me: “Weren’t you scared?”, “How could you stand to watch your child go through that?”, “I don’t think I could put my child or myself through that.”, I don’t think my child WANTS to do that (OIT).” He started out successful with the first 3-4 doses of 4 actual cashews set him in motion. He quickly felt the ‘feeling’ in his throat that he remembered from 8 years ago. Over the coarse of the next hour or so, he progressed through other reaction symptoms with each dose of epinephrine doing its job within 20 min., yet a next symptom would then surface. (Tyson had a total of 4 shots of epinephrine and an overnight stay at the hospital. Let me clarify that the overnight stay was due to the amount of epinephrine and the fact that his challenge was an afternoon challenge). I learned through this challenge that Tyson’s indicating numbers from blood testing and his development of symptoms are not “typical”. I choose to accept the fact that I truly have a unique child!
What I want other parents to understand, is that this concern of theirs – “scary” and “how could I watch him” created a much different perspective in me than the view they were anticipating. My thoughts during the entire process were: “I’m so glad we are here where he is surrounded by professionals who know all about this and what to do for him.” “I’m so glad we are already at the hospital where every medical procedure/equipment/convenience is right here at their fingertips.” “I am so glad we are not at the park or at a friend’s, where the responsibility of my child’s life rests on me and the effects of ONE EpiPen!” (We now carry 2). As for Tyson, we never put the responsibility of the decision on his shoulders. We made the decision to pursue the OIT, we listened to his thoughts, we prayed for direction, we gave him confidence in the people caring for him, we presented to him the benefits he will enjoy afterwards and YES we prepared him for the probabilities of a reaction occurring during the challenge as well as during the weeks we increased his doses.
While we are not parents that indulge our children in material items, we do use fun times to overshadow a difficult situation. After a night in the hospital, a trip to the gift shop produced a small item of his choosing that he still cherishes to this day. Lunch with Mom each Monday, helped us look forward to our “increase” days. The quiet time, video games and friendships we developed with other patients enlightened our life. As we listened to story after story after story of families driving HOURS to help their child with food allergies MUCH MORE disabling then ours, we knew that each step we took was a blessing. A blessing of close proximity to help our child (we only drive 1 hour each way), a blessing to have such an easy solution that provides so much security for our son’s life, a blessing that provides this security for THE REST of his life, not just temporarily. And all he had to do was eat a few nuts! We started OIT in Oct 2012 and he had completed his maximum dose by Spring Break. Now we do maintenance for 3 years. That seems so easy. Even if Tyson has to eat a few cashews for the rest of his life, what is it to eat them 2-3 times per week? Easy!! An easy fix for a life-threatening situation.
Tyson’s only concern after hearing the plan: “I’m just wondering about how inconvenient it will be with my sports.” We quickly assured him, that the inconvenience would be on his mom’s part with scheduling! Now that we are so far down the road, Tyson is glad we did it and he will admit that the interference of the program on his sports life was nothing!