A young nut allergy sufferer is raising hundreds of dollars at Valkstone Primary School in Bentleigh East for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader reported that student Jamie Arndt, 11, was inspired to help researchers working on a peanut allergy cure after experiencing an attack. With minutes of eating peanuts, her mouth and ears become itchy, her throat starts to swell, her nose becomes blocked and she suffers bad stomach cramps. A few hours later she will vomit until her stomach is empty and her body has eliminated the toxin.
Jamie is not only participating in a three-year study, but has also raised more than $800 for the research team.
‘I consider myself lucky because, even though these symptoms sound bad, they only last for around six hours,’ Jamie said.
‘However, I know there are kids who can die from eating, or coming in contact with, peanuts. I hate the thought of this happening to anybody.’
Jamie raised the research money by making and selling 400 tubs of slime — an effort Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Sigrid Pitkin described as fantastic.
‘It means a lot that she’s seen the impact it (this research) can potentially have on changing the quality of her life,’ Ms Pitkin, MCRI Research Nurse Co-ordinator, said.
‘Obviously there is a risk Jamie is on placebo, but still she’s willing to come in and help other children get rid of their allergies.’
Jamie is one of 200 children from across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia taking part in MCRI’s third study, which Ms Pitkin said was ‘paving the way for future practice’.
The end goal is to find a cure for peanut allergies, meaning children like Jamie can tolerate peanuts long after any treatment has stopped.