Teens in the Real World
  Food Allergies in the Real World  

Lending a Helping Hand

By Crysta, age 13.

My best friend, Giulia, is severely allergic to many things. Among her allergies are wheat, soy, shellfish, and peanuts. At times, her other friends and I have poked fun at her with the nickname “The Human Allergy,” but in truth, nothing about having an allergic reaction is funny.

At our school during lunch, Giulia could never find a seat without peanut butter being to her side or behind her, and she would be forced to sit alone in the back of the cafeteria. A group of friends and I knew this wasn’t fair, but she prevented us from doing anything about it, saying she was fine. Disregarding all her comments, we took the issue to our principal, who switched the seating arrangements. But that didn’t help because Giulia was again moved to the back of the cafeteria. By that time, my friends and I were infuriated and decided to talk with the cafeteria staff. Finally, we got a special table moved to the back of the cafeteria where the group of us could sit with Giulia at lunch, so she did not have to be there by herself.

Giulia also taught me and others, including teachers, to use her epinephrine auto-injector by using a trainer. We are prepared to help her in case of an emergency. Yes, Giulia has allergies, but really, Giulia is just like us!

 



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