Brett Nasuti has battled bullies who have taunted him with put-downs like “peanut boy” and had to sit at the highly stigmatized ‘peanut-free table” at school. Even so, he could be the poster child for living well with food allergies. He’s even taken it upon himself to educate his peers by organizing an annual Food Allergy awareness week at his school, during which he raises money for food allergy research. Here, watch Brett in action and hear what his schoolmates have to say about what they’ve learned from him. …
This week, watch the Nasutis take on their regular challenge of food shopping—no easy feat, considering that two out of the three children have life-threatening food allergies. Brett was born allergic to 15 foods, and his little brother, Nicholas, is allergic to 16. Their sister, Taylor, doesn’t have any food allergies, like her parents. In order to keep them all fed, Robyn makes three different meals every time her family eats, which requires her to drive to three different grocery stores. And the specialty foods don’t come cheap; dairy-free milk alone costs her $10 a gallon. “I spend about $850 a month on groceries,” Robyn says.
In this second video in our Milk Allergy series, Children’s Allergy Program’s Director, Lynda Schneider, MD, discusses her groundbreaking study to teach severely allergic patients, like Brett Nasuti, featured in our video last week, to tolerate milk. Much like environmental allergy shots, patients get exposed to tiny amounts of the allergen—in this case, by drinking cow’s milk—so their immune systems become desensitized and don’t react to it. Until recently, the only treatment for allergies has consisted of avoiding the food and managing reactions when they occur. This exposure desensitization trial—the first of its kind in the country—represents a bold new way of thinking about food allergies.
Check back next week to see Brett take his first-ever sip of milk.
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