Great news, after 5 years (and 65,000 miles) of participating in the Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) peanut allergy desensitization treatment study, Bo passed his final peanut food challenge! He has now been declared "tolerant" to peanuts!
During this blinded food challenge increasing dosages were consumed in the hospital's pediatric clinical research facility on a strictly timed schedule. There were several rounds of these food challenges which included a blinded series where we did not know if Bo was getting the placebo or peanut protein in the form of peanut flour. When all was said and done, in the final 1/2 day Bo had eaten enough peanut flour and actual peanut butter to equate to about 4 tablespoons of peanut butter... with no reaction at all!
We were also shown the 5 years of Bo's blood IGe level charts. They clearly showed his starting point of over a 100 which remained constant throughout year one (turns out he had gotten placebo year 1). Then in year 2 his IGe scores sharply increase as his body escalated it's response to the constant peanut protein exposure. Later in the year and subsequent years his IGe scores show a constant decline until today, 5 years later, where they have stabilized at <10 IGe!
We feel extremely blessed to have been able to participate in such a successful peanut allergy desensitization study. We now have clinical proof that long term, medically supervised, gradual food allergen exposure desensitization therapy holds great promise for people with life threatening food allergies. The lack of improvement or reaction during Bo's placebo phases and challenges also substantially validates that these life threatening food allergy reactions are physical responses from the body and NOT psychological responses.
Bo has now graduated from the peanut allergy study. This means he will only be monitored once a year from now on with blood work and skin tests. We no longer are required to read labels or avoid peanuts in his diet. We have been advised for Bo to continue to eat peanuts or peanut butter several times a week to maintain his desensitization to peanuts. Other kids in the study have been doing this final maintenance phase for over a year with no peanut reactions.
Words can not express the gratitude we have for the staff at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) food allergy research group including Dr. Stacie Jones, nurse Anne and nurse Karen! In addition we want to thank all of our family, friends and blog readers for the many kind comments, emails and prayers of support over the past 5 years of Bo's incredible journey to a peanut allergy free life!
I want to thank my wife Betsy for her tireless dedication as Bo's mother and as my soulmate. She was relentless in her drive to make this peanut allergy therapy an option for Bo and selflessly did whatever it took to keep Bo safe including making the 750 mile round trip from S. Louisiana to Little Rock every other week for two years and then again and again and again.
I want to honor Bo for his tremendous courage, selflessness and great positive spirit. He was only 5 years old when his peanut allergy treatments began and he is now an amazing little 10 year old man who I am proud of beyond words. Love you little man!
Finally, we want to thank God above for making all things possible.
P.S. To receive information about clinical trials enrolling at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) text "RESEARCH" in the body of a text message to 772937 as you would a phone number.