New treatments give hope to those dealing with peanut allergies, including Hally Vogel's daughter

Posted: 11:06 PM, Sep 21, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-21 23:06:13-04

As kids are settling back into their school routines it's always a concern for parents whose child has a peanut allergy.

But there are new weapons that should put parent's minds at ease.

A new blood test and a possible cure for peanut allergies may bring hope to millions of Americans who suffer from life threatening allergies.

It can't come soon enough for parents who worry daily about their children who are sometimes a bite away from a life altering emergency.

Every year nearly 150 people die from allergy related causes including 11-year-old Oakley Debbs. He ate a piece of cake with nut resin, went into anaphylactic shock and died days later.

Stories like that cause moms like Channel 7 Meteorologist Hally Vogel to worry constantly. Her daughter is one of three million Americans who suffers with nut allergies.

Hally says she's constantly reading labels and monitoring what she eats because all it takes is one bite.

Hally's daughter underwent a new blood test at Providence Park Hospital in Novi.

Allergist Dr. Claire Ward of Allergy Immunologists of Michigan says allergies can be life threatening, and can cause a life threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

The blood test will determine just how severe of a reaction Hally's daughter would have if she consumes nuts.

Hally says, it can be terrifying, and her daughter is not alone. Sawyer Alvarado's mom found out he was allergic to nuts from eating cereal at age 2.

Jackie Alvarado says they just gave him a little bit of a flake and that's all it took and he had a big reaction his face broke out in hives and they called 911.

Today as a 2nd grader Sawyer is undergoing peanut oral immunotherapy, O-I-T for short. First eating a tiny piece of peanut with a Kool Aid mixture.

After a year Sawyer worked his way up to a peanut capsule a day. His mom says the fact that he can eat a peanut now and not die is really incredible.

O-I-T is similar to another study where children tested a new pill filled with a peanut mixture for 18 months. Four years later those in the study were still eating peanuts without problems.

For now though, moms like Hally and Jackie must still rely on the epi-pen, and they don't leave home without the life saving medicine.

By law epi-pens must be available in schools in case of emergency.

Providence Park Pediatric Allergist Dr. Leo Harvey works with schools both on the local and state level to make sure the facilities are equipped with the proper amount of epinephrine if an emergency arises. He then gives the feedback to schools and the state as to how its working.

So until a cure is certain for moms like Hally and Jackie,  if a child is faced with a life threatening emergency in school or elsewhere a life saving remedy is within reach.

Hally got the results back for her daughter's blood test.  It shows if she consumes peanuts it's not likely she would go into anaphylactic shock but the same could not be said if she consumes tree nuts.  Doctors will now do another skin test.

As For Sawyer, his mom hopes he will be free from his peanut allergy by February.