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KFA Rising Star: Active Preschooler Lives Life to Fullest

February 2011

KFA Rising Star

Active Preschooler Lives Life to Fullest

By Tanya Bumgardner

Jason “Jay” Brew is a Rising Star who loves to be in the middle of the action. This active 4-year-old from Massachusetts can often be heard saying, “Look at me!” as he rides his bike, climbs or swings. So it's no surprise that his family fondly calls him a “happy-go-lucky, funny little boy.”

When Jay is not on the move, he can be found watching “scary movies” about sharks and bugs on the Animal Planet television station. He is a budding artist and loves to paint. But when he grows up, Jay plans to become a firefighter.Kids With Food Allergies Rising Star

But he is hardly your typical preschooler. With allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs, he is already adept at avoiding allergens. His mother, Jen Brew, said to avoid exposure, Jay remembers to wash his hands before eating, as well as after leaving public places. If anyone offers him a bite to eat, he'll say, “No, thank you. I have food allergies,” his mom said.

Jay also already understands the concept of cross-contamination, which makes his parents proud. At his fourth birthday party, Jay's cousin asked for help blowing up a balloon. According to Brew, the preschooler refused.

“(Jay said) I don't know if you ate something I'm allergic to, and now it would be on the balloon,” she said.

Preschooler wise beyond years

Even though Jay may understand more about food allergies than other preschoolers, his parents still share many of the same concerns as others whose children have food allergies. Fortunately, Brew has found comfort in knowing other families' stories, questions and responses. It helps her and Jay both cope better by realizing they are not alone.

Kids With Food Allergies has been a valuable resource for the Brew family. They still have common concerns but the support they receive helps them teach Jay what he needs to know about managing his food allergies. That support has helped relieve some of the stress of coping with food allergies so Jay can continue to be his “happy-go-lucky, funny” self.

KFA Rising Star
Jay and his sister Anna.

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 Spring 2007 issue of Support Net. It was updated February 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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