Inspirational blogger, you tuber and creator of May Contain Daniel Kelly answers questions about what life was like as a child / teenager growing up with allergies.
Tell us about your allergy journey (what are your allergies, when did you find out?
I had my first ever allergic reaction aged five. I was coming home from Primary School and my nanna gave my mum a chocolate bar, to give me as a treat. What happened next is still vivid as ever all these years later. I remember spitting out the chocolate bar all over the back seat, remembering my mum’s angry reaction as I was spitting chocolate everywhere. Within minutes I came out with red hives covering my whole body, we soon realized that something serious was happening and I was having an allergic reaction.I got rushed to emergency doctors and they gave me some antihistamine to calm down the rash. Not too long after they did blood tests and I found out that I had a severe allergy to all nuts.
What was life like growing up with allergies?
Going through school with an allergy I never felt different from the other children, my parents did a really good job making sure I fit in and was still able to attend kids parties with my allergy. Looking back a lot of my confidence in speaking up about my allergy is through my parents.
One thing a lot of parents worry about is the teenage years, what were these like with allergies?
The only time I thought having an allergy might hold me back, was when your friends start going on holiday abroad. However having an allergy hasn’t stopped me living in Amsterdam, and travel around Europe eating in lots of different countries.
Always remember to be vocal about your allergy and never take risks if you are unsure whether they understand how serious your allergy is. Always go with your gut feeling, it has helped me a lot in the past if I don’t feel they understand how severe my allergy is – I won’t eat in that restaurant.
Tell us more about your allergy blog May Contain?
Since creating the May Contain allergy magazine at University, I decided the best way to share my experience and raise awareness was to create an allergy blog called May-Contain. I have since created an Instagram page and YouTube channel to share more of my experiences and break down the stigma of having an allergy.
Food allergies affect over 2 million people in the UK, my main goal of the allergy blog is too break down the stigma and make more young people feel confident to speak up about their allergies and educate people about the seriousness. If you can make someone else’s life safer and better it’s so fulfilling.
I’ve had the opportunity to do talks at Cambridge University, Free from Allergy Show & Ted Baker this year. I am really enjoying going to different schools & organizations to educate people about the seriousness of allergies. Hoping to do more talks later this year. I have a lot planned over the next 6 months, can’t give too much away at the moment but I’m really excited about the future of May Contain.
What advice can you give to people growing up with allergies ?
It’s so important to always carry your two Epi-Pens everywhere you go. Too many young people don’t always carry the Epi-Pen. I think that’s a massive issue because there most at risk, as they are more likely to take chances when they move away from home. I feel it’s so important to make your friends aware of the seriousness of their allergy and speak up about it.
Mentioned before always go with your gut feeling if you feel the restaurants doesnt understand the seriousness your allergy, don’t eat at that restaurant. If you want to find out more about my experiences and living with an allergy make sure to check out my blog at https://www.may-contain.com/ or Instagram page May Contain