11-year-old from Bernie has hope he’ll overcome severe allergies

Overcoming a peanut allergy in Bernie, Mo
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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BERNIE, Mo. (KFVS) - After living with a serious peanut allergy for years, one Heartland 5th grader is looking forward to a future filled with peanut butter cups and no more worries about an allergic reaction.

“There is hope,” said 11-year-old, Eli Waltrip.

Eli said he has an opportunity to possibly overcome his severe peanut and tree nut allergies.

“I’ve never been able to taste something like that. I’ve always been asking people, what does it taste like, but no one was ever able to tell me other than it tastes like peanuts. I just feel really left out about it, and it’s just kind of sad,” said Eli.

Eli’s mom, Lisa Waltrip, shared what happened when he had his first allergic reaction.

“It was Halloween when he was about five. I had given him a piece of a cashew, and the whole left side of his face swelled up, his eye swelled shut, and he had hives all over, and he started vomiting,” said Lisa Waltrip.

About six years after that scary moment, Waltrip said Eli’s a candidate for the Southern California Food Allergy Institute’s Tolerance Induction Program. The program helps kids like Eli develop a tolerance to the food their allergic too, and eventually they can eat those foods that once caused issues, without worry.

“It is amazing, because I’ve always imagined my future having to check every single thing. It’s just really inspiring that I am going to be able to eat stuff that I normally wouldn’t,” said Eli.

“I just think that as a mom, I should do everything possible to give him the best life that he can have and not have that fear hanging over him and just let him have a normal childhood to eat a peanut butter cup. That’s the one thing he wants to try,” said Waltrip.

Eli’s cousin is raising money for his travel expenses to get to California and receive the treatment.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the number of children with a peanut allergy is increasing, so it’s important to talk with a doctor, even if a child has a minor reaction.

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