Living With Food Allergies

Courage and Determination

How You and KFA Gave Confidence to a Young Boy

“MIT, here I come!” is the mantra of Daniel Panaro, an 11-year-old science enthusiast who hopes to someday become a NASA engineer because of his love of astronomy, engineering and robotics.

By supporting educational efforts at KFA you have enabled Daniel and his family to enjoy their Disney vacation without fear! Here he is teaching Mulan a front punch!
By supporting educational efforts at KFA you have enabled Daniel and his family
to enjoy their Disney vacation without fear! Here he is teaching “Mulan” a front punch!

On the other hand, Daniel wouldn’t be disappointed if he starred in his own TV show. Bitten by the acting bug at age 6, he was seen last fall on The Colbert Report in a Halloween parody of Saving Private Ryan, starring host Stephen Colbert and actors Tom Hanks and Matt Damon. He has also appeared in commercials for Citibank and Verizon.

Let’s not forget karate. Daniel has earned his Kempo brown belt and competes in local and national tournaments, recently winning first place for his age and rank in forms and second place in weapons, self-defense and sparring.

Given Daniel’s list of accomplishments, you might not suspect that he has never really known life without food allergies.

Diagnosed at 11 months old, Daniel—who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and shellfish—shows a great deal of tenacity, courage and determination. His mother Gail emphasizes that while coping with food allergies can be overwhelming at first, with the help of KFA, it caneventually become part of your everyday routine.

According to Gail, “KFA gives us unlimited resources. We are so thankful for the recipes and the forums which allow us to see we are not alone. You can always find an answer to a question you thought you were the first to ask. It is incredible how many people have been through what you are going through now.”

Gail believes living with food allergies has played an instrumental role in shaping Daniel’s personality, and that his confidence is bolstered by the knowledge Gail gains from KFA and shares with him.

“Daniel deals with food allergies as part of who he is,” says Gail. “It does not define him, but it has made him who he is today. It has created a well-spoken, outgoing child. Daniel can explain his allergies to others with ease and is not shy or embarrassed. He reads labels on his own and really takes control of his safety. He even explains his allergies in restaurants to the waitstaff and will speak to a manager if he feels the waitstaff does not understand the severity of the situation.”

His mother says his personality and confidence are bolstered by the knowledge gained from KFA.
Daniel has earned a brown belt in Kempo and won top placement for his age and rank in forms, weapons and self-defense.
His mother says his personality and confidence are bolstered by the knowledge gained from KFA.

For now, Daniel focuses on enjoying life, striving toward goals many of us only dream about. Whether he someday sends astronauts into space or stars in his own TV show, one thing is certain: “He has never let his food allergies slow him down. When Daniel is determined to do something, he finds a way to accomplish it. Nothing can get in his way, including his food allergies!”

Thank you for helping KFA give kids like Daniel the confidence to pursue their dreams and to live safe and healthy lives. Your support makes a difference.