We are thrilled to celebrate seven-year-old Cadence’s graduation from our OIT program! Let us share her inspiring journey with you.
As an infant, Cadence battled severe eczema on her face and body. Despite seeking dermatological help and making dietary changes, she found little relief. When she was four months old, tests revealed she was allergic to milk, egg, peanut and tree nuts. Over time she outgrew her milk and egg allergies, but by age three and a half, the peanut and nut allergies had become anaphylactic.
Upon her pediatrician’s recommendation and positive reviews from family friends, Cadence’s parents sought help from Dr. Ho at Allergy Group NJ. Cadence’s mom was not aware of OIT at the time and was terrified at the thought of her daughter consuming peanuts, given her severe allergy. However, after thorough research, she decided to give it a try. At the first OIT visit, she saw the miniscule initial dose, and was reassured and comfortable proceeding with the treatment.
The OIT program required five-year-old Cadence to take daily doses of peanut, cashew and walnut powders mixed in applesauce or pudding. As an exceptionally picky eater, this proved to be an extremely challenging task. Mother and father would take turns having to spend the time every night to coax her to take the dose, but they persisted. Every two weeks, they returned to the office for an increased dose and an hour of observation. Cadence’s mother commends Dr. Ho’s medical staff for their incredible patience and encouragement, while Cadence’s cheerful nature delighted them at every visit.
Their patience and determination have paid off. After two years on OIT, Cadence can now eat 10 peanuts, 10 cashews and 3 walnuts with no reaction. Her blood test results have also improved. Her peanut level, once too high to measure, has decreased by 70 points. As a “numbers person,” Cadence’s mom trusts the undeniable progress reflected in the data. Moreover, the OIT treatment has protected Cadence from accidental exposure. Last Halloween, Cadence took a bite of a Hershey bar, unaware it had nuts in it but experienced no reaction, which would have been unthinkable prior to OIT.
The family now recommends OIT to others considering the treatment. They no longer fear accidental ingestion and potential anaphylaxis at school and believe the challenges they faced throughout the process have been absolutely worth it.