SSM Spring 2022 Issue

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30 It's finally Friday. Typically, you'd be thrilled to welcome the weekend, but today you have a pit in your stomach. Your child has been begging to attend a slumber party and you caved: their first-ever sleep over. For many parents, this milestone is difficult; but for you, it's accompanied by anxiety and concern because of your child's serious food allergy. One misstep could lead to your worst fear. For parents of children with food allergies, simply dropping their child off at school can come with angst and worry. Night and day they do their best to ensure their child never comes into contact with their allergen: they are diligent about checking ingredients and manufacturing processes; they keep epipens around their house, in the car, and anywhere else they can safely stash one. The moment that their child is under someone else's care, the anxiety surges. A parade of "what ifs" pervades their thoughts until their beloved child is safely back beside them. An estimated 5-7% of American children suffer from one or more food allergies. These children are often separated from their peers for "their own safety," alienated and singled out, which can dramatically affect their childhood. This heartbreaking truth is the reality for many children. Luckily, there is hope for a different future. Right here on the South Shore, your family can visit The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center (NEFATC). The Quincy office, located at 700 Congress Street, opened in 2019 as the second of two NEFATC offices -- the first of which opened in Hartford, Connecticut in 2010 -- to support the needs of patients in the upper New England area. Under the care of Dr. Margaret Vallen, M.D. and her team of allergy specialists, your child can be treated with oral immunotherapy, a proven method of desensitization which reduces the risk of a serious allergic reaction. After 20 years of focusing on allergy, immunology and pulmonary medicine, Dr. Vallen found herself uniquely positioned to bring together Vallen Allergy and Asthma, the well-established allergy practice she took over from Dr. Zuhayr Hemady last year, and her specialty office, The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center. By joining these two offices, Dr. Vallen has created a one- stop treatment facility for food allergy sufferers, streamlining testing and therapy processes and creating a comfortable environment with cutting edge care. Is Your Child Suffering from a Food Allergy? Avoidance is Not Your Only Option. Vallen Allergy and Asthma and The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center Offer Cutting-Edge Treatment for Even the Most Severe Allergies. Written by Robin Young, photography by Lucie Wicker

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