Education is the first step towards a cure. We are very
grateful to the following
organizations and individuals for sharing their knowledge.
Anne Swain, Robert Loblay, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Australia
S. Allan Bock, M.D. and Anne Munoz-Furlong, Food Allergy Network
Catherine G. Fuller, M.D., Board Certified Asthma and Allergy
Letters from the Cofounders
The site is dedicated to my daughter, Maggie, who is a charming, confident, gregarious, utterly-normal six year old. Maggie was born with allergies. It took almost a year for us to diagnose this. She had severe eczema on her face and arms. I would often find blood on the sheets in her crib as she would scratch and rub through the night. She was also on the smallish side. She did not gain weight in the robust way of other children. The pediatrician gave me topical ointments, and I saw several dermatologists and second-opinion physicians until I found my own way to an allergist, who was finally able to diagnose the problem.
Maggie was allergic to peanut, tree-nut, milk, soy, wheat, eggs, corn, tomato, melons, plums, barley, dust, grass and cats. There were several times I just cried at the doctor's office with the sheer fear that I could not manage to keep her safe. AllergyHaven has been born out of my experience in the years that followed. I have learned a few things that I hope will help other mothers as they educate themselves and try to cope with their children's allergies.
We want our special children to feel “normal”, to be able to confidently participate in anything, to feel utterly secure in their world. But, it is difficult to control your child's environment to guarantee her safety. Teachers, mothers, and even family will not understand the significance of dealing with allergies, and in truth, cannot be expected to bear the burden of your child's safety. It is ultimately your responsibility to create the haven. In our home and at her school, we have created a haven for Maggie. She does not often feel excluded or “different”, but unique and special. This site will give you the roadmap to taking your child to this place.
AllergyHaven will introduce you to allergy basics, give you direction on how to cope with creating a safe environment in and out of the home, give you links to sites, and offer products that will build your confidence and your child's self esteem.
My parents found out I was highly allergic to peanuts at the energetic yet innocent age of one after another adult gave me a lick of peanut butter at a party. Many years later, I am still a level 5 on the RAST. My peanut allergy has never held me back from enjoying life and living to the fullest whether going on school trips or to sleep-away summer camps as a child or visiting new and stylish restaurants around the United States or traveling around the world to South America, Asia, Europe, and more as an adult. I have certainly had my fair share of scares, but undoubtedly what has always saved me has been an EpiPen® at close hand and also an imperative willingness to investigate every food item and avoid anything remotely un-safe. My intention with Allergy Haven is to help parents reduce the fear inherent upon learning that their child has a life-threatening allergy; so, just like my parents gave me the opportunity, their children can also have the chance to reach their highest potential.