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KFA Rising Star: A Boy with Incredible Spirit

January 2011

KFA Rising Star


By Tanya Bumgardner

We all know how difficult managing food allergies can be, but imagine surviving cancer as well. Five-year-old Ian Black has done just that, but it doesn't stop this incredible boy from enjoying life to the fullest.

Ian was diagnosed with a Wilms' Tumor, a rare childhood cancer, in July 2005 when he was just three and a half years old. He underwent surgery to have the tumor and his left kidney removed. After months of treatment and clear CT scans, Ian's situation improved. He has now been treatment-free for 18 months.Kids With Food Allergies Rising Star

In spite of Ian's challenges, he's still upbeat, says his mom, Carrie. Ian is “happy, silly, fun to be around. He is a very loving child,” she says. He loves kindergarten, trains, cars, and climbing anything that can be climbed. But he especially loves making music.

According to Carrie, he can turn nearly anything into an instrument. “He is quite the musician. If it can be played, he will play it! Kindermusik is great for this.” He gets a lot of his influence from his bass-playing dad. However, Ian's biggest love is the drums.

When it comes to his allergies to dairy and peanuts, Ian takes it all in stride. And dealing with allergies has been a learning experience for the Black family. Carrie found that learning to cook safe meals for Ian that the whole family could enjoy has been the most difficult part of living with food allergies. But on the positive side, she states, “I am more apt to experiment with my cooking now.” Ian also gets involved by helping his mom make safe chocolate chip cookies.

Aside from providing her with cooking advice, Kids With Food Allergies has also helped Carrie explain Ian's allergies to others. She feels that people usually don't take allergies seriously. She says they are treated as if “it's something you can just take an antihistamine for and be fine. I am now armed with research that I can use to get others to understand how serious a food allergy can be.”

Ian's family turns food allergies into positive experiences

While the Black family has had much to cope with managing both cancer and food allergies, Ian's attitude has been contagious. The family's motto is, “You can do this. It will take some time for you to learn how, but with patience, you will succeed!”

KFA Rising Star
Ian with siblings Tessa and William.

“He is quite the musician. If it can be played, he will play it!” —Carrie Black, Ian's mom

Tanya Bumgardner is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Tenn. She joined KFA in 2002 to help her manage her son's allergies to eggs and peanuts. She is a member of KFA's Publications Team and is also anaphylactic to kiwi.

This article was first published in the Fall 2007 issue of Support Net. It was updated January 2011.

Kids With Food Allergies is a nonprofit charity. More than 80% of KFA's financial support comes from donors like you. If KFA has helped you in some way, please make a donation to support our work.

Page last updated 7/29/2012

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