Ready for the allergy, not the discrimination


I'm new to the site and new to the peanut allergy phenomenon. I've learned a lot very quickly, but I did not anticipate nor was I prepared for the discrimination posed by the uninformed. My ten year old daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy about two weeks ago. The reactions are not violent and we have received proper counsel (and the Epipen) from our allergist. We proceeded with our lives fully prepared to manage this situation. Our daughter was attending a "sea camp" at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi. We informed the employees about her condition and provided them with literature regarding the epipen. On her first day she drank after a friend who had eaten peanut butter and may have had a mild reaction. She administered her epipen like a pro and asked to be taken to the emergency room. No problem. We were home in two hours. To our dismay the museum informed us that our daughter would not be allowed to take a much anticipated schooner ride to a nearby island because of her allergy. This is a very critical period where we are trying to teach her that her allergy should not be a barrier, that she must respect it, be prepared for it, but not live in fear of it. We met with her allergist who confirmed our position and provided documentation stating that it was safe to take the trip. We passed this information to the appropriate personnel at the sea camp and was told that "they" had decided that she could not attend. I explained how crucial this time was to my daughters self esteem and received only more defiance. When I told my daughter that she could not attend her response was, "Now I'm known as a freak." I have read notes from others who have pursued relief via the Americans with Disabilities Act and I am in the process of doing the same. I would appreciate hearing about your experiences in this area and how you dealt with them. But even more importantly, I would appreciate a note of response/support directly to the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum at [email][/email]. Our children should not be subjected to behavior borne of ignorance. Let the education effort begin!

On Jun 14, 2001

willistl, I don't have any advice or answers. I just wanted to bring this topic back up since you didn't get a response. It sounds like the camp is worried about liability. Perhaps you can find out how long it would take to get your daughter to an ER from the island if anything were to happen, and have several epis to last long enough.