Samira's Peanut Allergy (Q&A)

Read about how Samira has navigated her severe peanut allergy and multiple allergic reactions


Compiled by Bryce Poston, Blogs Committee Chair

1/8/20242 min read

Samira Soorya, Chicago, IL, Lane Tech, 2027

Q: What allergies do you have?

A: “I am allergic to peanuts.”

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

A: “I was about two years old, I think, and my mom was eating a piece of toast with some peanut butter on it when she tried to give me a piece. After a little bit, I started to get really puffy and red in the face, and I got really hot, my mom says. After an hour, it didn’t go away, and my mom took me to the doctor’s office. The doctors then ran some tests on me and said that I have a peanut allergy, but it’s not a very severe one, or else I would have been in trouble after eating the toast.”

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

A: “When I was 12 years old, I went over to my friend’s house, and her mom made us smoothies. I drank the entire thing, which was about half a glass before I realized that I had this tingly feeling in my mouth. After a couple of minutes, it got really hard to breathe. I had hives on my body, and I got really red and puffy in the face. My friend’s mom called my mom, who picked me up and took me straight to the doctor. I remember throwing up at the doctor’s office but not much more because I don’t want to remember that.”

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

A: “I am now conscious about what I am eating and what ingredients are in homemade goods, especially smoothies! But I am always sure to check labels for warnings, and when I go to restaurants, I have to be extra careful and ask about allergies and cross-contamination in the kitchen.”

Q: How has your allergy affected your daily life (like what precautions do you have to take)?

A: “I carry 2 Epi-pens with me everywhere in my backpack or wherever I go just in case something bad happens. The reason I bring it with me is because if one of them malfunctions or doesn’t work, I am able to use the other one as a backup just in case.”

Q: Have you thought about or tried desensitization?

A: “No, I haven’t; I think eventually I will try it, but at the moment, it seems like a lot of work and will consume part of my time. I am open to trying it in the future, though, when the right time comes.”