Peter Stewart's Shellfish Allergy (Q&A)

Read about how Peter has navigated his shellfish allergy throughout his life


Compiled by Lydia Frost, Outreach Committee Co-Chair

12/17/20231 min read

Peter Stewart, Chicago, IL, Jones College Prep, Class of 2024

Q: How and when did you find out you had an allergy?

A: “I was a child, about nine or so, when I realized I had a shellfish allergy. My mom made some dish with shrimp in it. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I remember I ate it, and soon after, I broke out into hives and had trouble breathing. It was very scary at the moment, but looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t a worse reaction.”

Q: What’s the biggest allergic reaction you’ve had?

A: “The biggest allergic reaction I’ve ever had was after my Christmas dinner. My mom made crab, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if I was just allergic to shrimp or all shellfish. After I ate it, I became extremely itchy and red, could barely breathe, and was unable to sleep the whole night.”

Q: How has your allergy shaped who you are today?

A: “It’s made me more conscious about what I eat and what those around me eat. I now pay extra attention to the toppings on sandwiches or salads or the ingredients in soups, etc.”

Q: How has your allergy affected your daily life?

A: “I carry an EpiPen with me sometimes, and I’m conscious of what foods are around me.”