If you live in Colorado and you’re a big baseball fan, it won’t come to a surprise to you that our local Colorado Rockies MLB team is holding a “Peanut Allergy Friendly Game” on April 18th against the Phillies! Tickets can be requested and purchased at http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/col/ticketing/peanut_allergy.jsp if you haven’t claimed your tickets yet. This special game came with quite a bit of excitement with our board-certified allergists here at AACOS. In particular, as the younger clients call him, “Dr. Danny” is a past athlete himself so of course he was jumping all over the opportunity to talk about not only this peanut free game and the beloved Colorado Rockies, but also the treatment solutions available to people who suffer from peanut allergies.
Peanut Desensitization or Oral Immunotherapy
Your local peanut allergy specialist, Dr. Daniel Soteres of Asthma & Allergy Associates, wants to help any and all patients who have a peanut allergy. Dr. Soteres feels strongly about educating audiences and providing them with effective knowledge about their food allergies. When it comes to being allergic to peanuts or peanut oils, Dr. Soteres advises, “peanut desensitization is not a cure for peanut allergy, but it may be a cure for much of the anxiety that surrounds a severe food allergy. Many studies have reported on the extreme stress that families of kids with food allergies endure. They have trouble finding babysitters, teachers/schools and even family members who understand and are willing to accommodate them. There is fear about attending public events, like baseball games, where peanut protein may be encountered. Creating a tolerance to peanuts can be quite liberating for these individuals and families.”
One of the Asthma & Allergy Associates first patients of peanut desensitization was Erin Slife’s son, a local Colorado Springs boy who came to Dr. Soteres with a desperate need to treat the peanut allergy symptoms he suffered from. Erin’s son’s story was told by Ms. Slife herself:
“A few small bites of peanut butter ice cream made my (then) two year-old son’s face swell to epic proportions. Skin and blood tests confirmed a peanut allergy, and given his history of asthma he was at higher risk for an anaphylactic reaction. Everything changed. Every food had to be examined. He only got to play at houses where we really knew the families and knew that they would accommodate his restrictions. Flying meant notifying the airline in advance so we could board early and clean his area and repeat to every airline employee along the way that he has a peanut allergy. He still had episodes of swelling, coughing and watering eyes while in the air. When he went to elementary school he was the kid eating at the peanut-free table, sometimes alone. It was socially ostracizing to be the “peanut allergy” kid.
Luke started peanut desensitization with Dr. Soteres in August of 2010. He was among the first patients in this area to participate in the protocol. Over the next months he slowly (sometimes very slowly) increased his tolerance and eventually made it to consuming eight peanuts a day. We continue to do this every day.
To say that this was a life changing event doesn’t begin to capture what it has meant for him. He stopped eating at the peanut-free table and got to be with his friends. I no longer feared all the PB&J sandwiches on school field trips and allowed him to go without me. He has attended summer camps and flown on airplanes without reacting. We attend sporting events without concern about the peanuts being consumed around us. Stress levels have decreased dramatically when sending him out into the world as a more independent young man. We no longer feel unsafe in world that has a lot of peanuts in it.”
Peanut Allergy Friendly Events in Colorado
Luke’s story can and should bring hope to anyone with peanut allergies in Colorado who love watching the Colorado Rockies and watching America’s favorite past time. April 18th game at Coors Field in Denver Colorado is just the beginning to the “peanut-free zone” entertainment movement that quite a few professional sports team have adopted lately. Dr. Soteres and the rest of the Asthma & Allergy Associates staff are here to help any patient who walks through our doors and encourage everyone to enjoy life, no matter their health circumstances and go out and watch a baseball game or two. Start with the Colorado Rockies April 18th Peanut Friendly game!
As Dr. Daniel Soteres has proclaimed, “I’m glad that the Rockies’ organization devoted a day of the season to recognize all the people who are affected by peanut allergy. The hard part of food allergy is not just one day. It’s a lifestyle. Considerations and accommodations must be made everyday. Peanut desensitization isn’t for everyone and you should talk to a board-certified allergist before considering the procedure. Among those allergists you will find a range of opinions. You can hear both sides and make the decision that is best for you and your family. Regardless, I’m pretty sure that Luke can go to any game, any day he wants to!”
Good luck to the Colorado Rockies in their Peanut Allergy Friendly Game against the Phillies on April 18th!
Disclaimer on the Colorado Rockies website: *Fans should note that peanut-controlled does not mean peanut-free. Coors Field is an open air ballpark, and peanuts will be present in other areas of the ballpark. While we will make reasonable efforts to restrict peanut products and to clean in advance, we cannot guarantee the absence of peanut particles or residue. Fans with peanut allergies should take all precautions that they customarily take in public places.