Tanya Fuller remembers the cold symptoms that wouldn’t go away. Denum, her 11-year-old son, had been sick one night, and experienced problems breathing. Fuller, a wife, and mother of an older son, age 17, was accustomed to changes in workflow in her position as a human resources director in Philadelphia. Fuller, was always on alert and kept three rescue inhalers on hand for Denum, who suffers from environmental allergies. This particular attack, however, was too powerful. The next day, Denum was in the local ER.
If it weren’t for Denum’s weekly immunotherapy allergy shots– medically known as allergen immunotherapy—he would be sitting in ER more often. Besides the beneficial effects of immunotherapy, children suffering from mold, pollen and dust allergies need to use caution during the late spring and early summer when places of play frequently change from indoors to outdoors.
Denum was diagnosed with bronchitis after birth. His father, Dana Fuller, who also has asthma, showed Denum how to use his first inhaler, when Denum turned 3-years-old.
Fuller selected allergen immunotherapy for Denum, because it’s considered to be the most effective way to bring long-term relief freeing people from daily allergy medications. The allergy shots help the body get used to allergens, the things that trigger an allergic reaction.
“We always instill in Denum that he may have asthma, but asthma doesn’t have him,” said Fuller, who said that her family’s faith in God gives them hope. “It doesn’t mean he’s not a normal child. We told him he can still play basketball, run track, swim, whatever. It just means he has to do things differently, like take a break, then go back out and play.”