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September 2011

Peanut Allergy Success & Bone Marrow Donors Needed

Just a quick update that Bo is doing well with his peanut allergy treatment. He continues to eat 34 peanut butter M&Ms everyday to maintain his peanut desensitization. Bo is not “cured” of his peanut allergy but he has become significantly enough desensitized to peanuts that our world is nearly normal again.

FYI, Bo’s grandmother is undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. Did you know that the bone marrow donor database is quite small, leaving many people without a match? It also may surprise you that immediate family is frequently not a good DNA match. So we wanted to take this opportunity to help raise awareness that just about anyone age 18-60 can become part of the bone marrow donor database with a just a simple cheek swab to collect some DNA. Learn more about becoming a bone marrow donor at

For our new readers, a quick recap of the past 5 years of Bo’s peanut allergy journey is provided below:

  • Nov. 2006: Bo is diagnosed with a life threatening peanut allergy after losing consciousness during an anaphylactic reaction to a bite of a candy. Suddenly, we realize it is life threatening for Bo to eat out, enjoy treats at schools, travel or even have birthday cake at parties.
  • June 2007: Bo starts a peanut allergy study at Arkansas Children’s Hospital over 400 miles away in Little Rock requiring 14 hour car trips … every other week… for over two years… to monitor his reaction to increasing peanut doses, do skin tests and blood work!
  • June 2008: Bo fails his peanut challenge and we learn during the unblinding of the year 1 clinical results that he had been randomly assigned to a placebo control group the first year and not actually receiving peanut powder. We are now faced with having to repeat a year of the peanut allergy treatment study starting at the minimal introductory dosage. We are emotionally drained and financially frustrated but ultimately realize we are blessed to be in a treatment program whose future results will now be validated by a lack of response to the placebo treatment.
  • April 21, 2009: Bo and his mom are included in a USA Today article entitled "New strategies help build immunity against food allergies" by Medical Reporter Rita Rubin.
  • May 2009: In order to get enough peanut protein daily to maintain his increasing levels of desensitization, Bo graduates to eating more than 30 peanut butter M&Ms every day instead of peanut powder. This phase of the study only requires quarterly visits instead of twice monthly.
  • Aug. 2009: Bo’s peanut allergy treatment is going so well he no longer has to eat at the peanut safe table at school.
  • Oct. 2009: Bo passes peanut challenge after 1 year of peanut allergy desensitization treatment.
  • June 2011: Bo is interviewed as part of a KTHV 11 Little Rock news segment video entitled "Helping your child cope with food allergies".

Thank you all so much for your many prayers and kind e-mails. We pray that all people dealing with food allergies soon have the option to participate in food allergy desensitization treatments if they want to and one day for the preventive cure to end the fear, anxiety and suffering caused by life-threatening food allergies!


Bo's parents