ellery hero

SoCal TIP Patient Interview: Ellery Estevan

Ellery Estevan is 20 years old, allergic to peanuts, and sensitive to tree nuts. She lives in Dallas and travels to SoCal every 6-8 weeks. She's currently dosing her final allergen, peanut, and has reached the point of no longer needing to worry about cross-contact. Her advice to anyone interested in TIP is to believe people’s stories about how life-changing it’s been for them, including her own. Her favorite moment from her time in the program was getting to go on a food crawl with her friends where she freely enjoyed donuts, Starbucks, and boba, followed by a day of trying new restaurants with her family.  

SoCal TIP Patient Interview: Jen Keller

Jen Keller is a food allergy mom to Elliott, a 10 year old allergic to peanut, tree nuts, milk, egg, and soy. They live in Miami and travel to SoCal about every 10-12 weeks. Elliott is currently dosing peanut, his final allergen. Jen’s advice to anyone interested in TIP is to enroll—she says it’s been life changing for her family and recommends it wholeheartedly. Her favorite moment from Elliott’s time in the program was seeing how excited he was to be able to eat a slice of pizza for the first time.  

Allergy-Friendly Campus Guide: Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University

Location: Mount Pleasant, Michigan Central Michigan University has a Pure Eats section in each dining hall that is free from the top 8 allergens, and they serve it themselves to avoid cross contamination. There are gluten free sections as well, including a dedicated waffle machine! They have an app that lists every item on the menu and it’s ingredients! I will say that sometimes the ingredients have been vague (ex. “sugar cookie dough”) but for the most part I have a wide variety of safe eating options!  

Allergy-Friendly Campus Guide: Syracuse University

Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, New York I’m a rising junior at Syracuse and I have had nothing but great experiences with Syracuse dining. Their menu is all listed online and if you click on the item, it shows you the nutritional information and the allergens. If for some reason there is a food that’s out at the dining hall that isn’t on the online menu, there is usually a QR code on it that will take you to the nutritional info and allergen info. Definitely make friends with the dining hall managers—they are willing and able to help! There is also an on-campus nutritionist that handles allergies and she is a great resource for helping to navigate your allergies. Also, when you fill out your housing form if you choose to have a random roommate, if you say that you have allergies on the form about special accommodations, they can try to pair you with a roommate who also has allergies! I was unaware of that my freshman year but I wish I had been because it would’ve taken away a lot of stress! Overall, I love Syracuse and am so happy that the food situation hasn’t held me back from enjoying everything that the campus has to offer!  

Allergy-Friendly Campus Guide: Northeastern University

Northeastern University

Location: Boston, Massachusetts Northeastern University offers a station at the main dining hall that is free of the top 8 allergens, as well as a dedicated gluten-free toaster, microwave, freezer and bread box. There are definitely options on campus for gluten-free students, however for other allergies it is limited to one section at just one of three dining halls. The Northeastern staff are extremely kind and helpful, though, and when I needed meals delivered to my room for medical needs, they handled everything incredibly well. The chef personally gave me his phone number so I could text him questions about my meals. While the on-campus options aren’t extensive, being in the middle of a large city undoubtedly helps with more options. There are many grocery stores within walking distance and a wide variety of bakeries and restaurants in the city that cater to allergies. The school definitely has options for students with allergies but has room to improve.  
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