Stronger Through Adversity

Kristin - Bordentown, New Jersey
Entered on March 18, 2009

Can you imagine having a condition where on any day at any given moment you could die within two minutes? To top it off this condition is not curable and there is no medicine or vaccinations you can get to prevent it. When I was 18 months old I was diagnosed with severe food allergies to peanuts, nuts, and eggs. I believe having these food allergies has made me a stronger person today.

The 1st allergic reaction I remember was the 2nd anaphylactic reaction in my life. My class at preschool was changing classrooms. Unfortunately, the kid who sat in a seat before me ate a peanut butter snack and the table was not cleaned afterwards. When I touched the table I got the peanut butter germs on my fingers. Then, I rubbed my eye with the same hand, putting the peanut butter into my system.

Seconds later, my throat started closing, I got hives all over, and my eyes were swelling. The teachers called my mother who worked down the road. She rushed over to pick me up and bring me to the doctor. As my mom, my brother, and I rode in the car, my symptoms continued to worsen. My mom called 911 and an ambulance met us on the road. The paramedic in the ambulance gave me both a bear to hold onto and my epi pen. To this day I still have that bear to remind me of how those men in the ambulance saved my life

My allergies kept me from doing a lot of things a normal child got to do. For example, I wasn’t allowed to ride the bus because my bus drivers were afraid to give me my epi pen if something happened. Most of my play dates happened at my house because many families didn’t want to be responsible for me and didn’t invite me to their houses. When I was invited to birthday parties my mom had to stay with me. I also could not eat any birthday cake because of the eggs in it. Today, I can ride the bus, go to friends’ houses, and go to birthday parties without my mom because my allergies have gotten better, and I can give myself my epi pen. I still can’t eat birthday cake or go to restaurants and order anything I’d like; but, I live my life like a track race, when I approach a barrier I jump over it and move on. I don’t let it stop me from winning the race.

I believe I am fortunate to have allergies. I believe it has helped me in many ways. I am more accepting of people who have disabilities, and I am more accepting of the fact that I’m not going to be able to do everything in life, but I know there are ways to turn something negative into something positive. Even though I am legally disabled I believe I am a better person inside because of my disability.