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KFA Rising Star: Imagination Helps 3-year-old Rise Above Food Allergies

January 2011

KFA Rising Star


By Tanya Bumgardner

Rock-a-bye baby in the treetop. When the wind blows the cradle will rock...

As parents, we often sing this familiar rhyme to our children. But Megan Ladewig likes to imagine she's a parent, singing it to her little sister to calm her crying. At 3 years old, she has already decided she wants to be a mommy when she grows up.Kids With Food Allergies Rising Star

Of course, Megan's active imagination lets her switch from “mommy mode” to a neighing horse or a purring cat at a moment's notice. Her imagination has also proved to be a blessing when coping with her food allergies. According to her mother, Jennifer Ladewig, Megan also likes to “imagine rice bread to be a yummy pizza.”

A positive outlook is necessary for a preschooler like Megan when dealing with anaphylactic allergies to eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, along with potato, tomato, wheat and soy. Plus, Megan also has Celiac Disease. “You have to constantly read labels and worry about coming into contact with foods that can cause an anaphylactic reaction,” Jennifer says of Megan's situation.

But despite her allergies, Megan remains outgoing, energetic and happy. She loves to have books read to her, play with her Schleich animals and spend time with her five siblings: Hannah, Emily, Joshua, Karis and Phoebe. “She fully accepts her limitations. Megan will tell people that eggs and peanuts will really hurt her. She can tell you everything she can't have,” says Jennifer.

3-year-old Megan Ladewig is outgoing, energetic and happy

When Megan was diagnosed with food allergies at 12 months old, her family was faced with a daunting challenge until a friend referred Jennifer to KFA. In KFA, she found support and “the ability to not dwell on and always fear Megan's food allergies.”

When looking back on the past two years of Megan's life, Jennifer is grateful for KFA. “KFA has been a wonderful lifeline for our family. A food-allergy diagnosis is a life-changing event for the whole family, and it takes time to adjust. Awareness, education, acceptance and diligence is key to living with food allergies.” Now, thankfully, with the help of online friends, Megan can focus on who her imagination will let her become next, instead of her food allergies.

Tanya Bumgardner is a freelance writer and the parent of a food-allergic child.

This article was first published in the Spring 2010 issue of Support Net. It was updated January 2011.

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Page last updated 7/29/2012

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