To Long Beach, California that is.
My 5 year old daughter, Jenna has been accepted as a patient at Southern California Food Allergy Institute. What does this mean? HOPE. Something our family had very little of after 5 years of reacting, begging, and avoiding. In the blogs to come, I’ll blog our way through how we discovered J’s allergies. But for now, I just want to focus on the amazing, wonderful, scary, exciting, expensive, and HOPEFUL news! SoCal Food Allergy Institute has a science and data-driven food allergy treatment program named TIP; which stands for Tolerance Induction Program. Essentially, after extensive testing through blood work, scratch tests, and patch testing, they will create a customized food allergy treatment plan for Jenna.
The program typically takes 2-3 years and is based on the results of her bloodwork. But…. this program is 99% successful, according to the website. 99%. Amazing. The last week has been an emotional rollercoaster in thinking through the logistics, risks, and potential of this program. I feel like I could write for hours.
For now, I will answer the questions I have been getting about this food allergy treatment program:
Do you really think this TIP program works?
We believe it will but we clearly are a bit skeptical as it seems too good to be true. According to the statistics, it works. According to moms that have kids in the program, it works. According to my mom gut, it works. Overall, I believe this is the answer to every prayer, penny thrown in a fountain, shooting star, the same 4 digit time (11:11) and birthday candle wish that I’ve had since her diagnosis in 2017. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally doubt it. I think this time, we will all be very disappointed if it doesn’t. So, yes? Maybe? I think so?
You live in Missouri…how?
We are going to be traveling to Long Beach California every other month or so. Not sure how this will all work out yet. The first appointment is short as it is all testing. My husband (Daryl) and I will be taking Jenna the first round. In my mind, I will be going solo with her from there on out but that may change once we get a realistic idea of how this will work. Jenna’s sister (Bailey) is going to be staying in MO with family this first round.
How will this affect Jenna’s EoE?
To be honest, we are not quite sure. In a perfect scenario, her body’s immune system will reset and the EoE is cured through slow induction and tolerance of the foods most likely causing her EoE (milk and/or wheat). Both the doctors at Southern California Allergy Institute and our local GI doctor are going to closely monitor her so we can treat her appropriately. We also will be on a type of swallowed steroid during the treatment time.
It is important to note: EoE can not kill my daughter. Food allergies can kill her. Therefore, any type of EoE flair is well worth it if we reduce her chances of dying via food. It sounds brutal but it is the honest truth.
Jenna needs the ‘All Clear’ from her GI doctor before we can begin the treatment. In order to get that, we must do an endoscope with Jenna. I hate them but it needs to be done so we have that set up for mid-November before we head out to California at the end of this month (November 2021). All is booked, just ready to start!
You can check on our progress by reading the SoCal Blogs here.
Have questions about Food Allergies, EoE, or our experiences? Feel free to email me or post in the comments!