Raised by loving and supportive parents, I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. My childhood included playing board games, skiing on the “best snow on earth” and traveling throughout the US and abroad.
These days, many children are diagnosed with food allergies. I learned about my nickel food allergy at age 24. However, looking back on my life I think I may have exhibited symptoms within my first couple weeks.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, my Mother couldn’t stomach drinking warm milk. Instead she drank and craved pineapple juice. Pineapple is very acidic and it is one of only two fruits that contain high concentrations of nickel. Within about a week of my life, I began to develop a rash on my face and ears. Throughout my life, I continued to experience a rash on my ears whenever I ate or drank pineapple juice.
In addition, the world’s largest producers of nickel include countries located in the North and South Pacific – the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Australia, Canada and New Caledonia.
My nickel food allergy does not define me. It has taken me a couple years to understand my food allergy and accept that I will probably always be allergic to foods with nickel. I feel fortunate that my food allergy does not cause me anaphylaxis.
My outlook on my allergy changed when I started learning more about it. I read articles, joined the National Eczema Association, subscribed to Allergic Living, and connected with others on twitter. I am also really lucky to have an amazing partner – Sara – who adores and encourages me to take my nickel food allergy seriously.
Combining my passion for history and women’s issues, I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Gender Studies. While working for a bipartisan labor association in one of the most conservative states in the union, I realized I love being involved in the public policy process. Recently I finished my Master of Public Policy at California State University Northridge.
Today I am really grateful. I have been fortunate to live a beautiful life and meet really amazing people. When not researching about health policy, I will be exploring the world around me with Sara. When the weather keeps me indoors, I enjoy teasing our two cats or reading an awesome non-fiction book.
I enjoy connecting with others. I’d love to hear from you using the form below!