The Best Gift I Ever Received

You have no idea how much food matters in a child’s life, until you have a child who can’t eat anything.

For those of you who know me personally or have visited this site in the past, you likely know that my older son lives with multiple food allergies and a food allergy related disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE). And if you did not know, there you have it. It is hard to escape, following me into what feels like every single conversation I have had in the past ten years.

When he was first diagnosed as a baby we started on a whole new way of living. The story would take forever to tell. He had very few foods that he could eat safely. He has had countless doctor appointments and tests, including 33 endoscopies in eight years. We brought our own food and emergency supplies everywhere, every single time we left the house. All teachers and caregivers knew what to do in the case of an emergency. My son had never eaten at a restaurant beyond one amazing trip to Disney and recently a not-so-great restaurant near our home that could accommodate our specialized order.

Most families have a favorite restaurant, can hit a drive-thru, get a treat at the bakery, enjoy an ice cream cone together, or order in a pizza on a busy day. Not our family. With so many allergies, there was just too much risk.

That is, until yesterday.

About two years ago I learned that Ming Tsai, award winning chef and host of Simply Ming, said his son was cured of multiple food allergies by a woman in Lexington, Massachusetts. He called her an energy healer. After a bit of digging I found her, curious about her approach and whether her ability to cure kids of food allergies could really be possible. Part of me was skeptical, thinking that she must be a quack, while the other part was desperately holding out hope. After 33 endoscopies and too many years of playing a frustrating game of one-step-forward, two-steps-back, it was at the very least worth the inquiry.

We got on her waiting list for summer. Afraid to be excited for fear of disappointment, instead we spent the spring nervous and anxious about what we would find when we got to her office. We figured out where to stay and the best routes to take for the 5-6 hour drive each way, which we would be taking once every week. In the interim we discovered that a friend-of-a-friend from Colorado had been there too, and her son had been cured of multiple anaphylactic food allergies. When we spoke with her she said that like us, she would not have believed it possible either had she not seen it with her own two eyes.

Could this really happen for us? It seemed so unlikely, but we were about to find out.

It was difficult at the beginning for all of us to let go and trust the process. We have, after all, lived our lives on high alert for almost a decade. Yet there we were, trying to put our trust into this new individual in a small office in a small town, instead of a renowned children’s hospital with researchers and clinicians and doctors galore. Then again, we were at a point where we just had to try something different instead of continuing to spin our wheels. Trusting the process became all we had left, and in many ways that made it even more frightening.

We have been seeing Amy Thieringer now since June, and have driven back-and-forth from Philadelphia to Boston about 20 times to date. In this little office in the beautiful town of Lexington, Massachusetts, sits a woman who is curing children of food allergies. And now I know too that it really is possible, because I also have seen it with my own two eyes.

I won’t even try to explain how she does it, except to say that it is non-invasive and homeopathic. (Another reason why we felt it was worth a try.) She utilizes a kinesiology and an energy balancing technique known as NAET, adding more components to ensure its success. Her goal is to strengthen the immune system, re-script the way the body reacts to the foods, and very slowly reintroduce them. Two of the first major allergic foods we chose to work on are egg and beef. After several months of working together, my severely food allergic child can now eat them both without fear of a reaction. This opens a whole new world of food choices for him, the boy who typically eats a plain turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread every single day. A few weeks ago, on his tenth birthday, he ate his first ever “real” cake. Just before his first bite, through a puddle of nervous, ugly-cry tears, he called it “the best day of my life”. Little did he know that it was the best day of mine, too.

For the first time ever, my son felt close to normal.

Yesterday, my son and I had just gotten to Lexington and stopped at a local restaurant we had been to several times to grab a bite to eat. Though I had his dinner with me if needed, we spoke to the server about potential cross-contaminants and then we both ordered dinner off the menu. WE BOTH ORDERED DINNER OFF THE MENU. He got a plain burger with a side of fries on a gluten-free bun. Though it may not sound all that exciting to you, to us at that moment it was everything. In ten years, that was the first time he was ever able to order something from a menu.

For the first time ever, my son felt completely normal.

We have a long way to go in this journey, probably another two years or so. Though every dollar spent, every minute driven, every time we have to try to explain it to someone new is worth the look on my son’s face after he ordered that dinner for the very first time and ate it with a joy like I have never seen before.

It was the best gift I could ever have imagined receiving in my lifetime.

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Comments

  1. I am sitting here in a puddle of tears. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope this is the beginning of continued days of “normal.”

    XOXO

  2. Tears, happiness, joy, Jessica. I’ve read of some that you’ve been to, and recall a video where you shared the struggles. This just filled me with so much happiness for you all.

  3. What a wonderful post to read!!! I’m thrilled that your son is making amazing progress with this new plan. A true miracle for your family!

  4. Jessica thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. What a blessing – not just for an easement for your son of allergies, but for you being a parent that is willing to do whatever it takes to make your son’s life “plain old boring and average”!!!

  5. Oh Jessica. That is such amazingly unexpected news. I had no idea that curing good allergies was even possible, and that leaves me with a million questions.

    More than anything though, I am so completely overjoyed for you and for him. This feels nothing short of miraculous.

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      I had no idea either – and most medical practitioners probably wouldn’t believe it. Thanks, Tara!! Appreciate it, my friend.

  6. This is amazing news! I’m so happy for y’all.

  7. Amazing. Simply amazing and wonderful.

  8. This warms my heart so much – so happy for your belief & trust and that things are going so well – prayers for continued progress & hope xox

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      Thank you, Hil. You know it has been a journey so far, but seeing the payoff makes it all worthwhile.

  9. Wow, Jess, that is AMAZING. HOW does she do it? You know my son has allergies to nuts and sesame, but honestly he does live a fairly normal life. But to think someone has figured this out . . . is AMAZING. I would love to know more. And I am so so so happy for you and your family!

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      Thanks, Jo-Lynne! It really is pretty incredible. Definitely check out her website. It’s: http://allergyart.com. As you probably know, Shane was allergic to almost every food except chicken, turkey, apples, rice and corn – so this has been such a blessing. Happy holidays!!

  10. And this is the best news I’ve heard! You are such an amazing mom who never complains about the medical issues with your son. This took a lot of courage – to try it out and to share it. I wish your son nothing but the best. It sounds like he already was given it.

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      You’re so sweet, Connie. Honestly, I hadn’t intended to write about it, except maybe when we were completely finished. This week I was so flooded with emotions that it kind of just came out! Wishing you well too. You sure deserve it. ;)

  11. So excited to hear this!

  12. Ok I am crying such tears of happiness for you. I know you were making a trip. But this is amazing and I truly so happy for your family. It is such a gift. I love that his normal is eating what the rest of the world takes for granted. I am in awe of u as a mom.

  13. I couldn’t be happier for your family…this brought tears to my eyes…

  14. What an incredible story for your family! I’m so happy for you all. Thank you for sharing what I know will bring hope to so many families that struggle with food allergies. Amazing!

  15. This is so amazing! Thank you for sharing your son’s story.

  16. Wow this brought tears to my eyes. Iam soooo happy for your son and you all. My son is 3 and has multiple food allergies too, but not nearly as bad as anything you described and we can’t eat out. He has had 3 anaphylactic reactions and boy was I terrified, so I can only imagine how you felt with your son going through all of this for 10 years.
    So glad for you and wishing you all the best!

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      3 is a difficult age when they have food allergies, with learning how to share and when to share, as well as still trying to put everything in their mouths. You’ll get through it!

  17. Yay!! As an allergy mom, I totally know how you feel and the incredible relief that this must bring you. Congrats to you all!

  18. Wow, I am so happy for you and your family. This is amazing! Truthfully, if I heard about this from anyone else I don’t think I would believe it. Still having trouble, actually, it’s just so fantastic. I hope you update us from time-to-time on how things continue to go. This peanut-allergy mom will be following along and investigating more!

  19. Oh my goodness I cannot imagine that day and what it must feel like. I am so happy for your family, and for you especially as a mother. The anxiety and stress I feel for my daughter every day (especially over the holidays – ugh!), it takes a toll on our bodies. I am so relieved for you to have some of that stressed reduced! Yay mom! And, now I’m off to research this lady!!!

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      Thank you so much, Carrie. It really does take a toll on us so this has been life-changing for our entire family.

  20. I am here with wet corners of my eyes too… I am so happy to hear that he is now able to eat things he hasn’t been before, this is amazing, and I’ve never heard about cure for allergies before.

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      Sadly, too few people know about this, nor are they willing to listen because it is not based in traditional medicine. From this experience I am all about practices that use an integrative approach.

  21. Wow. This is simply amazing. I’m so happy for all of you!

  22. i am in tears. that’s amazing. and i’m not far from mass (CT) and have friends who have kids w severe allergies. i think i’m sending them your post

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      Thank you, Brett. Yep, I drive straight through the state of CT on my way to her office! It’s a very easy drive from there.

  23. WOW a wonderful gift! Can’t wait to hear how more investigating goes!!

  24. Jessica, wow, this is wonderful. I’m so glad you took a leap of faith and it’s working!!!

  25. Tears of joy for you, my friend! I never realized how difficult daily normalcy was for you until I read your Disney World post and it really hit home. After hearing about your journey in Lexington (YAY!) over the past few months you’ve been on my mind quite a bit. I’m thrilled you’ve found hope, and who knew hearing about someone eating lunch would bring tears to my eyes today?!

  26. I am SO SO SO happy for you!!! As you know, my kids don’t have allergies, but have multiple food sensitivities that affect all kinds of things, from behavior to sleep to learning abilities. Our new practitioner, Amy of Well Amy, told us that there were 2 such doctors in New Jersey and that my kids might be good candidates down the road. I am so glad that you had the courage to step outside the box of Western medicine and try something new to help your child. That makes you an awesome & brave mama :) Glad your son can now enjoy rather than fear food!

    • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

      Thanks, Gina. If you get those doctors names would you let me know? Would be interested to see what kind of work they do. I’m a big believer in the theory that if it can’t hurt and might help, you should always give it a try!

  27. That is SO amazing for you, him and your whole family! I am SO happy for all of you! You took a chance and it is paying off – big time! High-fives and hugs all around!!!

  28. I am also a mom to a little one with EOE. I was going to email you with some questions but wanted to give you a heads up so I didn’t get sent to the SPAM folder. :)

  29. That is so wonderful, I have chills. Fabulous post, as always.

  30. My 10 year old son also sees Amy, and was just declared non-peanut allergic yesterday!!!! My husband and I are calling her the miracle worker. Wonderful post, I also had tears in my eyes reading it, as I can so appreciate and feel your joy of being able to participate in normal dining experiences! Keep “nogging” off those foods!!!

  31. Hi Jessica,

    As I read your post, tears rolled down my face. First, I am so happy for you and your son. That is amazing his allergies are slowly being cured! I have two boys with multiple food and environmental allergies and can relate to your stress and anxiety. We are on Amy’s waiting list – I would love to chat with you about your experience.It will be a few years before we can get an appt. but we are hopeful that after years of avoiding social events, restaurants, packing a cooler with special foods everywhere where we go, etc that some day their allergies will be cured and we can do all the things that other families do. Best of luck to you and your family!

  32. This is a wonderful story. Your son being able to order at a restaurant and to feel normal is something every kid deserves. Thank you for sharing this.

  33. What a wonderful post! I am so happy your son is getting cured from his food allergies. I cannot imagine the pain and fear that would come with multiple food allergies.

  34. What an amazing story. YOu need to get this post out for all to see. Im sure your son is not the first and his story can help many. Thanks for sharing and Im so glad he got to eat a real piece of cake.

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