Callan Maher's Hazelnut Allergy (Q&A)

Read about Callan Maher's experience with his hazelnut allergy


Compiled by Bryce Poston, Blogs Committee Chair

12/20/20231 min read

Callan Maher, Chicago, IL, Amundsen HS, Class of 2027

Q: When did you discover you had an allergy?

A: I first discovered my allergy in 2nd grade. It was during a seemingly harmless encounter with a hazelnut cookie that I realized something was wrong. The allergic reaction that came afterward cast a spotlight on the importance of understanding what goes into my body, marking the beginning of my journey with allergies.

Q: How does having an allergy impact your identity?

A: Interestingly, my allergy isn’t too big of a part of my identity. While it’s an undeniable part of who I am, it doesn’t define me. I’ve learned to move past my allergy while still keeping it in mind when I go to places like stores and restaurants.

Q: How does having an allergy affect your daily life?

A: As I started to get at in the last question, allergies are something that I have to be mindful of in certain settings involving food. I make sure to check every label and brand when at the store to make sure I am not risking it with nuts. I do something similar at restaurants, making sure the staff is aware of my allergy and can help me find a dish that is safe for me.

Q: Have you ever considered desensitization?

A: I haven’t explored the idea of desensitization to minimize my allergy. The allergy, while present, doesn’t exert a significant impact on my life or preferences. Thus, the prospect of desensitization hasn’t emerged as a compelling option for me at the moment.