This is a very special and unique cause to my heart.
It includes that of my baby daughter, Isabelle
This campaign is aiming to raise vital help in the development, funding and developing research into severe milk and formula allergies in infants under 1.
At present there is no known cause or medical reason as to why infants and children with no genetic history of allergies develop them at such a young age. My daughter Isabelle was born 2 weeks late weighing 7lb 1oz. As per my my first baby she was breast fed for 4 months. Until she started showing signs of what looked like ezcema on her stomach. This slowly, and daily spread all over her body. Her face, eyes, neck were covered in this rash. Her airway would swell, restricting her breathing. Thinking the worst, and having no idea that milk was the source of this reaction, we spent weeks at hospital, in emergency care, Infant care facilities, and saw countless paediatricians, doctors, registrars and consultants.
Finally, after at least a dozen hospital visits, countless rushes to hospital, with nothing clearing up this angry violent red rash that covered my tiny baby, it was diagnosed she was allergic to milk.She was prescribed a strict routine of creaming her skin 3x a day, take an anti histamine medicine 3x a day, a Hydromol lotion in the bath, a Hydromol wax after her bath, and Nutramegen milk formula specially formulated with infant allergies. This progressed to a completely milk and milk protein free substitute called Neocate which she still has today.This process was beyond exhausting.
All you want to do is the best for your children. I was absolutely lost, desperately worried, and wanted to take it all away. I felt guilty, responsible....why hadn't my son had skin like this Why could he eat/drink anything? Im terrified if Isabelle picks anything off the floor as children do, it may set a reaction off. 12 months later, my baby is 2. Her skin is clear and baby soft for the first time in her life. She is finally having milk products again, slowly reintroduced into her diet to see how her body reacts. We are yet to see if she will require an Epipen.
I had no idea what this was and am a first aider. I felt helpless. Isabelle is small for her age, possibly down to the lack of any dairy from her diet for almost her whole life. Even now she weighs just 24lb. I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions the past year. I am fighting now desperately to get more research and development for the reason behind such allergic reaction in infants. When milk is the only diet possible. Even after and during weaning, milk proteins, solids, powder, whey..comes in so many forms in children's snacks and everyday sauces and foods. It's not until you have to look at what has it in do you fully comprehend how limiting it is to try and wean a baby. All anyone wants is a healthy baby. Help other parents look for the first signs and possibly understand that an allergy may be something that their child has, as oppose to panicking about meningitis, chicken pox etc.
Funding is crucial to help identify and help understand how families with no trace of genetic susceptibility can suddenly be struck with such a restrictive, harrowing, and emotional ordeal for both them and their baby. Donating anything you are able will help make a difference not only in clinical research, but to families in and out of hospital for tests and trials, as well as for emotional support for families like mine. No one ever thinks it will be their child.
Thank you to all those who have already contributed through other means. You are beyond kind giving and generous. Please help spread the word and help other families. One of them may be yours As a parent, or carer, you are caring and giving by nature. Now imagine if it was your child, at 3am in A & E with your child's swollen airway.
I am personally aiming to raise over £8000 via raising awareness and charity events. You all know how expensive formula milk is. Now imagine not being able to feed it to your baby, and her being allergic to your breast milk. Help do that amazing thing, for another mother, father, or carer. So far I have raised £300 and have a long way to go.
Help support the Milk and Lactose Allergy Development Program on behalf of Isabelle and hundreds of children like her. You never know. One of them may be your own.