From Near Death to Testing Negative to Food Allergies


A girl eating peanut butter.Four years ago, we almost lost my child. Food allergies, while commonly teased and ridiculed, are severe and life-threatening conditions with a profound impact on patients’ quality of life. A sesame allergy almost robbed us of my son when he was still a baby. On Christmas Eve, at that.

But he got the final say. 

Our family was lucky to have access to a treatment clinic offering allergen desensitization (usually referred to as oral immunotherapy or OIT). Better yet, it was covered by insurance. This past fall, that hard work paid off. My child tested negative for his allergens, then passed two separate food challenges (eating his allergen in larger doses) without a reaction. He no longer has a sesame allergy.

It is hard to describe how our family feels to someone unfamiliar with food allergies. How can you accurately explain to someone how it feels to live in fear of food, of the outside world, for years, only to know that your child is no longer at risk for dying? It is a unique experience for sure.

We aren’t done with food allergies quite yet. We have two more foods to challenge, and even after that, we will always have to be on the lookout for re-emerging allergies or new ones. And I still have multiple food allergies.

But the relief we feel, going from nearly losing a child to victory against his food allergies, is something we are incredibly grateful for.

If your child has food allergies, I encourage you to seek out the support of a board-certified allergist. Treatment isn’t right for everyone, but with so many new options on the horizon, it pays to get help from the experts.

Your pediatrician isn’t equipped to manage food allergies on their own (nor should they be expected to be; doctors specialize for a reason). It is a hard journey, but when it is successful, it is nothing short of life-saving.

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Erin is the mother of one sweet, rambunctious toddler and wife to a talented chef. Professionally, she is a former special educator and preschool teacher, and is currently a cognitive neuroscience researcher and Ph.D candidate in Cognitive Science in Education with specializations in neuroscience, cognitive development, and neurodiversity/autism. She holds masters degrees in cognitive science, and neuroscience in education, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and undergraduate degrees in special education (with an additional concentration in elementary education and a minor in English) and early childhood education. As the wife of a chef, food is a huge part of her family culture, and she enjoy both cooking and baking. Some of her other hobbies include hiking, traveling, jogging, meditation, animal rescue, playing piano and guitar, crafting, reading, and of course, writing. You can follow her parenting journey and pick up tips on great kids activities here on Westchester Moms Blog, as well as her website (, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.