Grace was just 5 months old when her parents gave her the tiniest bit of peanut butter for the first time. Within 10 minutes, hives erupted on her arm and began spreading to her back and legs. Her pediatrician referred them to an allergist who, after testing, gave them daunting news that Grace had a severe peanut allergy.
It was a scary time for the family as they had to eliminate all peanut and tree nut products from their home and be extra cautious when eating out. They were told that avoidance was the only option. However, Grace’s parents didn’t give up hope and did extensive research to find a better solution. They found Dr. Ho at the Allergy Group NJ, who specialized in oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergies, and saw Grace as a good candidate for the treatment because of her young age.
OIT was a big commitment for Grace and her family, but it was worth it. Over the course of one year, Grace’s parents worked with Dr. Ho and his team to gradually increase her tolerance to peanuts. They mixed minute quantities of peanut into her food and increased it every two weeks at office visits. It was a daily routine, but it became easier with time, and Grace’s parents even found creative ways to make it fun, like baking muffins with the peanut powder. Grace tolerated OIT well and had no adverse reactions.
The results have been remarkable. After the completion of OIT, Grace’s skin testing shows no reaction to peanuts, and she is now able to eat up to 8 peanuts without any issues. This has been a huge relief for Grace’s parents, who no longer have to worry about cross-contamination and can enjoy meals out with their family without packing separate food for her.
Grace’s mother is particularly thrilled that she can send Grace to school without the fear of an accidental exposure. Although she will always have an Epi-pen on hand, she believes that Grace will not have a peanut allergy in the future. The whole family is much more relaxed and can now enjoy life without the worry and stress that came with Grace’s peanut allergy.
Everyone, especially Dr. Ho’s medical assistant Taylor, were super nice and attentive, and Grace’s mother felt that they always made her and Grace feel comfortable in the office. The bonding time that she and Grace had while waiting after each dose was special and is a memory she will cherish.
Grace’s successful journey with OIT can be attributed to her parents’ commitment to seeking out the best treatment for her food allergy during her early years, when OIT is most safe and effective. Their dedication has made it possible for Grace to grow up living a normal and allergy-free life.