Food allergies and food allergy related hospitalizations or deaths have been on the rise the last 20 years. Unless you experience a food related allergic reaction it is hard to understand what someone who has food allergies goes through daily. I have the pleasure to work with people who have severe or life-threatening food allergies and have had the opportunity to experience their daily lives through their stories. Consider my everyday life without food allergies and compare to my donor’s who have food allergies.
MY LIFE WITHOUT FOOD ALLERGIES:
Each morning I wake up, hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, and make my son’s lunch. He has a typical kid lunch, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pretzels, apple and some string cheese. I proceed to make coffee, open cabinets, open the refrigerator, the dishwasher, and other random ordinary kitchen items. I eat my breakfast, drink my coffee and go about getting ready for the day at hand. I make sure to wash my hands several times during and right after these tasks.
You are probably thinking or have heard someone say “everyone washes their hands when preparing food”. Most people do to avoid illness or food poisoning, but I do it for more than just these reasons. Not only do I wash my hands because I like to be healthy, but when I arrive at my office in the morning I will be working with people who have severe, life threatening food allergies.
What if I hadn’t washed my hands after making that peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I proceed to work, unlock the main office door, touch the main counter and arrange the pens for our donors to use. If my first donor is highly allergic to peanuts, I have now spread the oil from the peanut butter over every surface that my donor is going to touch. It is the simple contact of the oil from the peanut butter transferring from my hand to an object that someone who is severely allergic might touch that can cause a life-threatening reaction.
Most people do not typically think like this in their average everyday lives. After working with people who have allergies to foods you learn that life is not easy. You must always worry about roommates, family members, friends tracking small particles of foods you might be allergic to through your living space. Kissing someone who just ate peanut butter, could end a relationship quick if you are allergic. Eating out at a restaurant is also difficult, did the person preparing your food use the same knife to cut an egg then cut a piece of bread? Does the sauce have soy in it? Some cases it is just the fumes from cooking food that can cause an anaphylactic reaction.
So why is this all so important? Research is being done worldwide to help people with food allergies. People just like my donors are helping in this research by donating their allergic human plasma. These donors have been struggling their entire lives with food allergies and understand that they can help not only themselves, but others who are suffering from the same or similar food related allergies.
I connect researchers from all over the world with this special human plasma for life saving diagnostic research. The peanut patch is just one example of how pharmaceutical companies are using plasma to create better medications https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/newsroom/news-releases/peanut-patch. This wouldn’t be possible without donors who have these food allergies. Because of them others will have a better chance at survival when encountering allergic foods.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you know someone who is highly allergic to foods, PLEASE tell them they could save a life by becoming a plasma donor for ongoing diagnostic research with PlasmaLab International. Contact us or visit our webpage http://www.plasmalab.com for more information.