Living with food allergies - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Living with food allergies

MADISON (WKOW)-- A lot of us have been a little leary of peanut products lately, after the salmonella outbreak.

But for millions of people, their concern for peanuts is year round.

A Madison mom is all too familiar with food allergies and has made it her mission to help other families cope.

Sheree Godwin is "Someone You Should Know."

Feeding the kids takes on a whole new meaning when you hear Sheree Godwin's story.

The day to day stress of what to feed her three children becomes very clear.

Sheree lists for us what allergies her children have, "Hannah's 2, she has eggs, beans, peanuts and tree nuts. Henry's 5 and he has peaches peanuts, tree nuts and watermelong. Emily is 7 and she has them all. She has wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, grapes, strawberries, spinach, mango, beets."

Doctors diagnosed Emily with food allergies at 9 months old.

"The first grocery shopping trip after that, we spent about four hours in the grocery store, ended up just coming home crying, cuz what could we feed her," says Sheree.

And with each child, came another diagnosis.

"If there's a sibiling with food allergies or a parent, it's a 25% more likelihood that the next sibiling would have food allergies. My husband and I do not have food allergies." says Sheree.

Peanut allergy is one of the more common food allergies.

But is also one of the most dangerous due to the possiblity of severe reactions.

Two of Sheree's three children have stopped breathing, had extreme swelling, rashes and hives.

Peanut allergies are on the rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

Sheree has become an advocate and started the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin, a support system that started out small that now has 350 families from around wisconsin, including the Wadzinskis' of madison.

Diane Waszinki told us that she loves the group. "I just don't knw what I'd do without them as far as just making our life easier," says Diane.

5 and a half year old Emily has food allergies: peanuts, egg, peanut butter, tree nuts.

Emily loves cupcakes.

Again, they look the same, but are made with an egg replacement.

Diane, like so many other moms and dads, had to learn what to do in case Emily has a reaction.

Including how to administer an epinephrine pen, which reverses the allergic reaction, at least until you can get medical attention.

A necessary part of life for families living with food allergies.

And thanks to Sheree and the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin, families are armed with information and support.

"With the support group we do cooking classes, we do label reading, so we can train the families and their school about how to deal with what ever allergies or who ever many allergies they have," says Sheree.

For more information on Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin visit:

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