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At 18 months old, Aaron was in the 75th percentile for height, but only 5th percentile for weight. His mom, Brittany, thought high-fat foods like peanut butter might help him gain weight, but the toddler seemed to hate it. Then, when Aaron was a bit older and was given a granola bar, he talked about his throat being itchy and then threw up. Brittany’s suspicions worsened.

She and her husband had Aaron tested for food allergies. Sure enough, he tested positive for nut allergies, especially pistachios.

Brittany did everything she could to protect her son from life-threatening reactions. She found a nut-free preschool. She stashed cupcakes in the freezer so Aaron could participate in celebrations. Still, there was constant fear. Aaron was a normal, active 4-year-old who was apt to be impulsive and sneak treats whenever he found them.

How could they keep Aaron safe, but still encourage him to have normal childhood experiences?

As a Stanford alum, Brittany’s husband was aware that donor-supported research was under way to help find a solution for children and adults with severe food allergies. The family looked into enrolling Aaron in a clinical trial. It was a huge commitment—they would have to drive three to four hours from their home north of Sacramento every other week to the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research in Mountain View. Once at the hospital, receiving treatment wasn’t easy. Aaron had to eat small amounts of the foods he was allergic to and he was anxious.

“The nurses at the clinic were amazing,” Brittany recalls. “It was so hard, and they helped us through every step of the way.”

There were times when it seemed like they should just give up, but the team at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research were there to encourage Brittany and keep Aaron on track. After two years, the results were amazing. Aaron could be exposed to his allergens without a reaction. The family could go back to a life with more freedom and less fear. Today 7-year-old Aaron is an outgoing, happy kid who has a bright future ahead of him.

“He loves comic books and even draws his own books,” says Brittany. “He is now in jujitsu and is very busy.”

Thanks to your support of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, more children like Aaron will have a chance to overcome their allergies and live life to the fullest.

Aaron is #WhyWeScamper.

Register today for the 8th annual Summer Scamper on Sunday, June 24, 2018, and support care, comfort, and cures for more kids like Aaron.