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March 2009

Bo's Peanut Allergy Study Update

Bo has now been participating in a peanut allergy desensitization treatment study at Arkansas Children's Hospital for the past two years. The amount of peanut flour that Bo is now eating every day, without an allergic reaction, is equivalent to the protein found in 10 1/2 peanuts.

Peanut Desensitization Treatment Phase II

We are so excited because our treatment travel schedule is about to improve dramatically. After next weeks visit, we don't go back to Little Rock for 30 days. These 30 days represent the highest daily dosage of peanut flour used in the peanut allergy desensitization treatment study. At the end of the 30 days, we return to Little Rock so Bo can undergo a food challenge requiring him to eat increasing amounts of real peanuts throughout the day while on an IV under Doctor supervision. If he passes that all day challenge, he enters the phase of the treatment study that relies on the kids eating actual peanuts or peanut butter every day, instead of peanut flour, to maintain their peanut allergy desensitization. During this treatment phase of eating actual peanuts every day, we only have to return to Arkansas Children's Hospital once every 4 months, instead of every other week. That will be like getting a raise to the family budget and a lot of personal time back by eliminating 4 travel days every month!

Returning to a Sense of Normalcy

In the past month we have felt confident enough in Bo's peanut allergy treatment that we have begun to reintroduce some activities that had become too risky after we realized Bo had a severe peanut allergy a few years ago. Examples of normalcy that Bo's successful peanut desensitization treatment has afforded us include the following recent activities:

  • After 50+ stays, Bo has now eaten breakfast twice at the Little Rock hotel restaurant
  • Bo has eaten Krispy Kreme doughnuts recently from several different locations
  • Bo was allowed to participate in an overnight camping trip with his scout pack and dad aboard the U.S.S. Alabama battleship in Mobile (Exploring this historic war ship was very cool and we all gained an even deeper appreciation of the sacrifices made by all of the outstanding U.S. service men and women of our military, to ensure our freedom. May God bless them, their families and the U.S.A.!)

After the recent media reports of the success of peanut allergy desensitization treatments like Bo's in the last few weeks, we received a lot of e-mails, comments and media inquiries. It made us realize that some people are not noticing the new navigation links at the top of our site to other sections of our blog, such as, FAQ, Peanut Safe FoodsFood Allergy Letters, Food Allergy Products and Archives of our past blog posts (organized by date and topic). HINT!

As always, we want to thank our readers for all the great comments and e-mails.


Bo's Parents

Peanut Allergy Treatment Success News

After two years of peanut allergy desensitization treatment at Arkansas Children's Hospital under the care of Dr. Stacie Jones (and of course Nurse Karen and Nurse Anne), Bo is now eating the equivalent of 9 peanuts every day without an allergic reaction!

After being in the peanut allergy treatment study for over two years (Bo was getting the placebo in year one) we now only have 2 more every-other-week trips to make to Little Rock! After that, we graduate to only having to go once every quarter. While preparing our 2008 taxes we realized we drove 26,000 miles last year from our home in South, Louisiana to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock for Bo's twice a month peanut flour dosage increases. The reduced travel schedule will be like getting a raise for the family budget!

As we have been hinting over the past year, the peanut allergy research Bo is participating in has been showing very promising results towards a cure. Now you can read about the success of these peanut allergy desensitization pilot studies for yourself in the news articles below from NPR and USA Today, written after a report was released by Dr. Wesley Burkes of Duke University Medical Center and Dr. Stacie Jones of Arkansas Children's Hospital at a meeting on March 15, of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Washington, D.C.

Experiment Takes a Bite Out of Peanut Allergies- NPR

Researchers move closer to cracking peanut allergies - USA Today

As always our message to the food allergy community is one of hope for a cure to peanut allergy and other food allergies, so we close with this quote...

"Within the next five years, I think we're going to have some active therapy for food allergy," says Burk's collaborator, Dr. Stacie Jones of Arkansas Children's Hospital.

God Bless,

Bo's Parents

Bo's Peanut Allergy Treatment Over 7 Peanuts!


Bo is now eating enough peanut flour every day to equal more than 7 peanuts!

The peanut allergy desensitization treatment study that Bo is participating in at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock is based off of the Duke University Medical center peanut allergy treatment research directed by Dr. Wesley Burks that is mentioned on page 4 of the Feb. 26, 2009 Time Magazine article "Why We're Going Nuts Over Nuts". Before joining the staff at Duke, Dr. Wesley Burks conducted his food allergy research at the Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Our experience with Bo's peanut allergy desensitization treatment and that of the many kids we have met that have been in these research studies for over a year, echoes the successes of these peanut allergy desensitization treatments described in this quote from the Time Magazine article entitled  "Why We're Going Nuts Over Nuts":

In a new strategy called oral immunotherapy, doctors try to retrain the immune system by hitting it with the offending protein enough times, in increasing doses, that the body's defenses eventually relent and accept the protein as friend rather than foe. "It's the first generation of treatment that would make people less or even no longer allergic," says Dr. Wesley Burks, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Duke University Medical Center. On average, children treated this way for a year are able to tolerate the protein equivalent of 15 peanuts, while the untreated group developed allergic reactions after 1 ½ peanuts. For parents, allowing their kids to participate in the study was a leap of faith.

New Peanut Free and Allergen-Free Foods Store a Hit

Bo and his Dad devoured our initial supply of delicious Nonuttin' Granola Clusters and KitKat bars from the AllerNeeds online store, so we had to order more, lots more! Allerneeds carries a great-tasting selection of peanut free and allergen free foods including chocolate, snacks, cake mixes, brownies, muffins and more. All the products they carry are produced in guaranteed peanut/tree nut free facilities. Shop the AllerNeeds web site.

We Updated Our Disney Peanut Free Dining Page

Bo recently returned from a trip to Disney World in Orlando over the Mardi Gras holiday where he was able to eat peanut safe food at several Disney area restaurants he had not tried on previous Disney trips. Check out our updated list of peanut safe dining options in and around the Disney World parks of Orlando. Note the list of restaurants and park food items on this page are ones Bo has safely eaten at while at Disney, but there are many more peanut safe options then just the ones we list.