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Authors: Donna Decosta

A Little Bit Can Hurt

BOOK: A Little Bit Can Hurt
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Copyright 2013 by Donna T. DeCosta, MD. All rights reserved.

Cover and interior photos copyright by Donna T. DeCosta. All rights reserved.

Cover, interior layout and logo designed by Karen J. Brand.

Edited by Margaret P. Carey.

No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, photographic or electronic, without the written permission of the author.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

DeCosta, Donna.

A Little Bit
Hurt: The Shocking Truth about Food Allergies - Why We Should Care, What We Can Do / Donna DeCosta.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN: 13: 978-0989329101
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9893291-1-8

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013909294

This book is intended to provide the reader with information about the subject matter. Any implementation of the information contained herein is at the reader's discretion. The reader should consult his or her own healthcare provider regarding information and suggestions in this book. Mention of internet websites, organizations, companies and other resources in this book does not imply endorsement by the author. Furthermore, the websites listed may have changed since publication.

Published in the United States of America

First Edition

This book is fondly dedicated
to my sons, Frank IV and Wesley;
to the millions of people with food allergies;
and to the countless individuals
who are diligently working to
make their lives safer and richer.


Above all, I thank God for His love and guidance, for providing me with a loving family and for bringing phenomenal people into my life.

My profound gratitude to my parents, June and Lawrence Turner, for their unconditional love and everlasting support of my efforts whether to attend medical school or write this book. They taught me that I could do anything that I put my mind to.

To the love of my life, my husband Frank DeCosta III, for supporting me, believing in me and helping me to fulfill my dreams.

Hugs and kisses to my sons, Frank IV and Wesley DeCosta, for reminding me daily of the precious gift of life.

I gratefully acknowledge my mother-in-law, Senora DeCosta, who has been a source of inspiration.

I express my warm and humble appreciation for the love and encouragement Shirley Dawkins has long offered me in this endeavor and many others.

I am extremely grateful for the professional guidance and wisdom offered by Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis during this long process.

Thank you to Valerie Burton, the keynote speaker at an inspirational retreat I attended. She helped me pinpoint my purpose and passion to raise food allergy awareness by writing this book.

My deepest gratitude and thanks to the families in the book who opened their hearts and homes to me in order to help others in their walk with food allergies.

I am indebted to Dr. Robert Wood, Ann Caldwell, Cecelia Pfeffer, Dr. Susan Rosendahl, Becky Fetters, Maria Acebal and Joel Schaefer for sharing their wisdom and professional guidance.

My deep appreciation to my friend and editor, Meg Carey, for her unwavering support throughout this project and for her patience and dedication over the years. Her long hours, attention to detail and invaluable input have taken this book to a level I could not have attained on my own.

Sincere thanks to Dr. Michael Goldman who provided the foreword and to both Dr. Glenn Silber and Dr. Goldman for their many years of exceptional medical care and for reviewing this book

My heartfelt thanks to Sam Horn for her vision and talent in helping me to develop my brand, for her belief in me, for her guidance throughout this project and for the book's title.

Thank you, Karen Brand, the creative force behind my logo, website and book design.

With love and appreciation to my extended family for their indispensable suggestions, contributions and support.

I am grateful to my church family for their prayers and words of encouragement.

I would also like to thank my colleagues and coworkers who offered support and enthusiasm for this book.

A huge "thank you" to my social media friends around the world for their thoughtful comments and suggestions.

Thanks to Kimberly Forsyth for her time and help in the early stages of writing this book.

Much appreciation to Jennifer Abernathy for her guidance and advice.

A special thanks to Barbara McNichol who was involved in the final proofreading of this book.

And finally, I thank the members of my family's Food Allergy Circle. Your opinions, suggestions and willingness to listen have inspired and motivated me.


The personal narratives in Part I are derived from interviews conducted over the past seven years. The circumstances and events chronicled in the narratives are written to reflect the recollections of the subjects as closely as possible.

The professional interviews in Part II have all been conducted within a year of publication. The titles and positions of the subjects are accurate as of the time of their interviews.

Although this book has been reviewed by two allergists, it is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Rather, it is intended to serve as a support and tool in the management of your or your child's food allergy. Please consult your physician regarding medical advice.


Foreword by Michael Goldman, MD

Editor's Note



SECTION 1: Prenatal - Infants

Chapter 1      Nikita                    
Got eczema? Think food allergies!
Chapter 2      Susan & Joshua    
A Silver Lining

SECTION 2: Children - Early Childhood (1-4 years

Chapter 3      Reyna& Talia        
"Reyna Friendly Day"
Chapter 4      Ariel                       
"Let me be close."
Chapter 5      Aidan                     
The Aidan Manual
Chapter 6      Brynn                     
What?! No peanuts on this flight?!
Chapter 7      Grace                     
Blessed with Savvy Siblings
Chapter 8      Robert                    
"We don't want them to die."

SECTION 3: Children - Middle Childhood (5-10 years

Chapter 9      Bryce                      
"I don't like it when I sit by myself."
Chapter 10    Jonathan               
Cruising the High Seas
Chapter 11    Megan                   
Grandparents' Growing Awareness
Chapter 12    Zach                      
Practice Makes Perfect

SECTION 4: Adolescents (11-21 years

Chapter 13    Conor                    
Chapter 14    Theodore              
"You have to be your own safety net."

SECTION 5: Adults

Chapter 15    Alicia                     
"She almost died."
Chapter 16    Linda                     
Beach Week Fiasco

SECTION 6: Medical Professionals

Chapter 17    Robert Wood, MD,
Director, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Children's Center
Chapter 18    Ann R. Caldwell, RD, LDN,
Nutrition Services Coordinator, Anne Arundel Medical Center

SECTION 7: Educators

Chapter 19    Cecelia Pfeffer,
Director, The Learning Tree Child Development Center
Chapter 20    Susan Rosendahl, Ed.D.,
Pre-School Division Head, The Key School
Chapter 21    Rebecca Fetters,
First Grade Teacher, The Key School

SECTION 8: Community Members

Chapter 22    Maria L. Acebal, J.D.,
Member of the Board of Directors, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
Chapter 23    Joel Schaefer,
President, Allergy Chefs, Inc.
BOOK: A Little Bit Can Hurt
8.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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