I always considered my family one that was close-knit and accepting. Call it naivety, but that’s how it was. Until something happened that opened my eyes a little bit: My sister-in-law developed allergies to peanuts. At the age of 29. After a pregnancy (her third). I was 12 at the time.
Let me preface by explaining that my sister-in-law had a reputation of being a hypochondriac, so that didn’t help. All I remember is one Sunday we got a phone call that my sister-in-law was taken to hospital after an anaphylactic reaction to something as of yet unknown. What followed for her was months of fear and confusion. It completely took over her life as she was understandably terrified to eat almost anything, lest it happens again. Then it took over my brother and his family’s life, and it was all we heard about.
My family thought this was getting out of hand. I’m not sure they even believed her, merely thinking that she had a reaction, maybe, but nothing life-threatening. I mean, who had ever heard of suddenly becoming anaphylactic?!?!? Whenever she came over to stay, it took center stage. The whole conversation focused around the ingredients in the food my mother had made (by then, they had narrowed it down to a smaller but still extensive list), and quite frankly, we found it irritating and just a ruse for attention.
And then I saw something that changed things for me. I was only 12, but what I saw made me understand somewhat.
One beautiful afternoon my whole family went on a cruise. I remember sitting around a table by the inner deck. My brother was to my left, and my sister-in-law was across from me. She was cutting up an apple for my nephew, an item that was on her blacklist. Suddenly I noticed a rash appear on her neck, traveling upwards. My sister-in-law talked and behaved normally, totally oblivious, so I nudged my brother and showed him what was going on. He motioned to me not to tell her and keep quiet and whispered to me, “See, that’s how sensitive she is….” (Obviously, he knew that only physical contact wasn’t dangerous, it would just get his wife into a panic). If touching a forbidden food item caused such a reaction, imagine if she ate it?
It’s taken a while, and although I can report that my family has made some progress, there is still a way to go. At this point, we are sensitive; yet tolerating.
Not understanding, yet.
But we’ll get there.
When there’s love, there’s hope.
Additional information: Scientific research is unfortunately minimal in understanding allergy development in general and specifically, development later in life. For more on this topic, click here.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.
We are so lucky we found this company to help us while our son was traveling. They provided allergy-safe baked goods and delivered them to his hotel so he could have bread and pastries on his month-long Israel trip. It was very easy ordering and communicating his needs. I would definitely use the food allergy concierge again the next time he travels to Israel.