One Doctor's Quest to Help Kids With Food Allergies

March 10, 2013 New York Times Magazine

Did you get a chance to read the NY Times piece, The Allergy Buster, by Melanie Thernstrom (an allergy mom herself)? Honestly, I couldn't put it down and I'm thrilled to see a piece like this on the cover of the NY Times Magazine. 

The article features Dr. Kari Nadeau, a Stanford doc with strong convictions about helping kids with multiple food allergies. Dr. Nadeau wrote 13 Investigational New Drug applications (90 pages each!) for the FDA while she was sick, went without a salary for 3 years, and allows patients to call her when she is away on family vacations. Her trial to desensitize children with multiple food allergies spawned the group, Safar Community Council. They raise money and hold meetings for food allergy research.
Allergies to Milk, Eggs, Nuts

Since the article left me still hungry for more information on this possible treatment, I was happy to discover two other related pieces. The NY Times Blog posted a Behind the Cover Story interview with the author of the article and Dr. Nadeau herself is taking questions to be answered in a future Stanford medical journal. Questions may be sent through Twitter, using the hashtag #AskSUMed, or by posting a comment on Scope, the Stanford journal.

I long for the day, as the author pointed out, when food allergies and fatal anaphylaxis are associated with an earlier age, like dying of polio. Until then, we need more people like Dr. Nadeau willing to do the  research, work closely with patients and families and demanding more from our science and medical communities. We also need brave families and people with food allergies to participate in research and trials. That's a tough, and very personal choice, but it's the research and trials that will eventually lead to a cure.

Fifteen million Americans have food allergies. The number keeps rising and we don't know why. Patients and families deserve better, and more consistent, answers- now and for future generations.






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