Meet Keegan, your Patient Hero
Eleven-year-old Keegan loves to paint and make her friends and family laugh. She is a happy kid, and you’d never know that she once faced life-threatening food allergies.
Keegan was 18 months old when she had her first serious allergic reaction. Classmates had shared peanut butter crackers with her, and afterward, Keegan told her mom something was “spicy” in her mouth. Then the vomiting started. Testing soon revealed that her peanut allergy sensitivity was through the roof!
“Our lives changed overnight,” says Jeannie. “Eating at restaurants, grocery shopping, birthday parties, and potlucks would never be the same again.”
Thankfully, the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University is an international leader in clinical trials that help children and adults overcome allergies that once overshadowed their lives.
In 2016, Keegan started her first clinical trial, where she received a placebo for a year. In a subsequent trial, she received actual peanut protein, with a start dose of 3 mg and a final goal of 300 mg (1 peanut).
“It was a rough start,” remembers Jeannie. “We were told Keegan was one of the most sensitive patients they’ve had in the program. There were times when we felt utterly defeated, but Keegan and the caring staff at Stanford never gave up.”
Keegan reached her goal in July 2018. Today she eats one peanut a day as her maintenance dose.
“Fear was probably the biggest emotion in the beginning,” says Jeannie. “I couldn’t grasp the thought of giving my child something that was life-threatening to her. Keegan was a rock star throughout the trial. She didn’t let any setbacks or adverse reactions stop her from finishing the program. It was a long and arduous process, but the end result was worth it. We are incredibly proud of her.”
More than 90 percent of funding for the Sean N. Parker Center comes from donors like you. Without philanthropic support, children like Keegan wouldn’t have an opportunity to have normal childhood experiences like attending parties and traveling without the threat of an anaphylactic reaction.
“We are forever grateful and thankful to Stanford’s Allergy & Asthma Research Program. Being desensitized to peanuts means we no longer live in constant fear of cross contamination or an accidental peanut exposure. Keegan is a serious foodie at heart and being a part of this program has opened up a whole new world of foods for her. We highly recommend this program to anyone with an allergy, it truly has been life-changing,” says Jeannie.
Keegan is #WhyWeScamper.
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