As most of our reader's know from following Bo's peanut allergy research study updates over the past 3 years, we have always focused on the positives. There are plenty of other peanut allergy blogs that chronicle the very real day-to-day challenges we all share of living with a loved one affected by life threatening food allergies. So after a quick trip down memory lane, we want to focus this update on how the success of Bo's peanut allergy desensitization treatments at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock are slowly bringing more normalcy to Bo's life.
Quick Recap of Bo's Peanut Allergy Treatment Journey
Bo is 8 now, but was 5 years old back in June 2007 when he started the "double blind" peanut allergy treatment study in which a small percentage of participants get a placebo instead of actual treatment but neither Drs. nor participants know who. At that point, he was so allergic to peanuts that his initial daily dosage amount that he was eating was so miniscule it looked like a few grains of sand in a cup. But over the course of the year as the doseage levels were slowly increased, Bo had worked up to eating the equivalent of about nine peanut kernals per day... or so we thought.
On his one year anniversary of participating in the "double blind" peanut allergy desensitization study he failed his food challenge and we learned Bo had been one of the kids randomly selected to receive a placebo in year one of the study. So in June 2008 after one year of 900 mile roundtrips every other week from South Louisiana to Little Rock, we regrouped and started the the process all over again, taking comfort in knowing that he would be getting real peanut for his daily doses from then on. By May of 2009 Bo had graduated to the maximum daily dose and switched from peanut flour to eating more than 30 peanut butter M&Ms every day! In October 2009 Bo passed his food challenge and has continued eating his peanut butter M&Ms every day since to maintain his peanut allergy desensitization!
Treatment Success Helps Normalize Bo's LifeKeep in mind that even though Bo is now able to eat more than 30 peanut butter M&Ms every day without an allergic reaction and we no longer have to worry about cross-contamination level risks, he is still allergic to peanuts. Therefore, we still avoid food with peanuts in the ingredients and Bo always has his Epipens with him wherever he goes.
Below is a list of the ways our life has changed for the better and things we have learned because of Bo's participation in the peanut allergy treatment study for the past few years.
- Less stress now over the food being served at birthday parties and holiday meals
- Now able to eat in more restaurants (convenient and fun)
- Now able to eat some of the foods labeled "may contain" or "assembled in a facility that processes nuts"
- Now allow Bo to spend the night out with friends and relatives
- Now able to travel more
- Are so appreciative for Disney's wonderful food allergy friendly parks
- Enjoy receiving wonderful e-mails and comments to our blog about the hope that Bo's story has brought to so many families around the world dealing with life threatening food allergies.
- Understand how even in your lowest moments, there is always someone dealing with more life burdens than you.
We pray that this holiday season and 2010 will be a time of good health, happiness and prosperity for all. And, as we do every night, we pray for world peace, for the military to come home soon safe to their families and give thanks for the many blessings in our life!
May God bless you and your families.