READER REPORT:

Allergies rule our family

CHERIE KAUSHAL
Last updated 05:00 14/11/2014
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JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ

SCARY MOMENTS: Cherie Kaushal's children had some close calls as new allergies were discovered.

Does an allergy rule your life?

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Does an allergy rule your life?

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We have four children in our family and three suffer food allergies.

Our eldest is 12 and we found out the hard way that she was anaphylactic to rabbits, at our youngest's first birthday party. Cuddling the magician's rabbit she started getting hives and a raspy voice.

Our 10-year-old has multiple allergies - food, drugs, environmental. It has meant a huge overhaul of my grocery shopping and cooking. In that way it has been a good change.

It does rule my life and I can never be far from school or home, just in case I get that dreaded phone call, but it has also meant that because of his multiple food allergies (up to eight different food groups at one time) I have been forced to bake and cook meals that are so much healthier than I would have if we never had to deal with allergies.

Our youngest son, who is now 3, is also anaphylactic, like the older two, and has had a couple of close calls.

The biggest problem with having four children and dealing with different life-threatening allergies for three of them, is the horrendous cost of Epipens. Adrenaline auto-injectors are not funded in New Zealand and are cost between $130-180 - that is a cost that even a family on a decent income can not face easily.

Rabbits are easy enough to avoid for our 12-year-old, so she doesn't need to carry one, but our boys both need to carry at least two each due to the seriousness of their allergies.

We are really hoping that a petition currently before government will be passed and at the very least funding for part of the cost of an Epipen will be available.

Allergies do rule our life, but once the daily stresses of dealing with all of these issues are under control, I can sit back and see that because of, or thanks to allergies, our little family is much healthier.

Thanks to the wonderful support of Allergy NZ over the first few years and now with Allergy Support New Zealand (ASNZ) the support we have is amazing.


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