Knoxville boy becomes desensitized to peanuts after suffering from severe allergy

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Food, specifically peanut, allergies can stop kids from living life day-to-day without the constant fear of eating the wrong thing.

The first step to finding out if you have any allergies is by receiving an allergy test / Source: WVLT

One Knoxville kid, Dylan Vermillion does't have to worry about his peanut allergies anymore, thanks to desensitization treatments. Desensitizing someone to a food they are allergic to gradually builds up a tolerance to that food by ingesting small amounts of it everyday.

Dylan's mother Peggy started him on the desensitization treatments with Dr. Mark Pienkowsi, a Knoxville Allergist, after Dylan nearly died due to a severe anaphylactic reaction at age 5 when eating a peanut candy.

"I can tell you that anaphylactic shock is a very scary event.", said Peggy Vermillion. "I would never wish it on my worse enemy".

Now, four years after treatments, Dylan is 12 and has put his Epi-pen to the side. He can now enjoy some of the treats he had to miss out on when he was younger.

"Now I can have a lot of good candy like Reese's, because everyone loves Reese's.", said Dylan.

The desensitization process can be dangerous, and should only be performed by doctors that are well-equipped to handle it.

"We have a lot of people who practice allergy as a side-line.", said Dr. Ty Prince, a Knoxville Allergist. Make sure your allergist is a board certified allergist in Allergy Immunology and make sure they have a good reputation and they've been in the community for a while."