Tyler's Allergies to Dairy and Eggs

Check out our new member and Events Committee Co-chair Tyler Chang's story about his experience with food allergies


Tyler Chang

12/22/20232 min read

Having a classmate celebrate a birthday in elementary school was the highlight of the week. Birthdays were always filled with so much excitement. The birthday boy or girl may or may not bring in a treat bag, but they always bring in some type of favorite food. Brightly decorated cupcakes, homemade baked cookies, and even sometimes pizza being delivered to the classroom were met with sheer elation from all of my classmates. Everyone was excited about the treat. Everyone except for me. Birthdays always meant that I would be left out of celebrations because I was allergic to dairy and eggs. Any baked goods that had butter or eggs were off-limits for me. Celebrating a classmate’s birthday in school was not a source of excitement like it was for most children; it was a source of anxiety. I knew I would be bombarded again with heavy questions coming my way. I would hear, “why aren't you eating,” “I bet you’re faking it,” or “are you ok?” all of the time. At times, this would make me want to skip birthday parties just to avoid all the questions. I became very accustomed to my parents’ normal script when talking to a waiter or waitress at a restaurant, “Does this have any egg or dairy products in it… please make sure the utensils do not cross contaminate when preparing my child’s meal… my son has a serious egg and dairy allergy.” As I grew older, my doctor would test me at regular intervals and noticed that my allergy sensitivity levels were decreasing, and I was slowly becoming less and less allergic to both eggs and dairy. By the age of 10, I had completely outgrown both of my allergies. I have been extremely fortunate and have not had any residual allergies since. As a young child, having food allergies always felt like the most unfair curse. However, now I feel blessed. I am blessed to share my story and empathize with other kids who share similar experiences. With the Kids Allergy Network, I hope to connect with other children whose lives have been affected by food allergies and hope to be able to shine a light on the prevalence of food allergies and raise awareness.