Dillon’s quest to FREEDOM began February 20, 2014. We packed up our family, left the beautiful Hawaiian Islands and flew over an ocean to begin this amazing journey full of HOPE! It was time to trust Dr. Jones to give Dillon his life back! February 24 we arrived at Dr. Jones’ office not knowing what the day would bring us. It was tree nut challenge day. Dillon describes it as “the best day ever!” I describe it as “the scariest, best day ever!” As we sat in the room listening to Dr. Jones explain to us how the day will go and answering any questions we had, all I could really think about was, “oh my gosh, is this really happening??” Every cell in my body ached with fear. I trusted Dr. Jones, but I did not trust those tree nuts. But it was time for Dillon to eat his first walnut. And there right before my eyes he was chewing it and swallowing it. And then four walnuts in, he PASSED!! I could not believe what was happening. Over the next few hours, he passed 3 more tree nuts!! The first day was over. An overwhelming feeling of HOPE, gratitude, happiness, calmness, swept over me. The next day would go the same as the last and he passed 3 more tree nuts. He was SAFE from all tree nuts. Dillon’s little body had defeated the poison over the years.
February 27, 2014 was day one of peanut OIT. Every emotion pouring thru me. Will this work, is this safe, what if he doesn’t like peanuts, what if, what if, what if??? But what if this does work? What will Dillon’s life be like when we return home? He will be able to go to his friend’s houses for the first time. He will get to sit where he wants to at lunch. He will be able to participate in class parties. He will get to live, he will be FREE!! He will get to live the life that he so much deserves. A life of no anxiety from the fear of food. Food should be fuel to the body not poison. And then the questions of what will I do with myself? How will I learn to let go of this fear? Will I be able to? So many questions in and out of my head all day. But I had to push all that aside because it was time for Dillon’s first dose. I was going to sit there and let him drink peanut protein. Yes it was minuscule but to me it was enormous. And just like that it was down the hatch. Dose after dose he was brave and courageous. One of the coolest parts about that was, he trusted me. He trusted that I would not give him something that would hurt him, where as there had been times in the past that a mishap of what I thought was safe had put him in the hospital. HOPE was filled in that room. FREEDOM was just lurking around the corner. Each dose that he took, he was one closer to this new life that we all had ever dreamt about.
Beginning this journey for me took every bit of trust in myself and trust in this doctor that I had met half way across the country. I had to let go of the fear that somebody else could take care of Dillon and that person is Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones has been beyond a blessing to our family. He is the most passionate, caring, heart felt, loving, sincere, honest, patient person I have ever met. He may not 100% understand what it is like to have a child who suffers from a food allergy but he understands!! He understands that he is giving HOPE and FREEDOM to our kiddos and for that, I will be forever grateful!