Sometimes, when you tuck into your favorite meal, you may go, “Wow, I could eat nothing else for the rest of my days!” Could you really? What if you never, ever get to taste anything else? This might be the case with Micah Gabriel Masson Lopez – a two-year-old boy from Montreal, Canada who lives only on peaches.He suffers from a serious condition called food-protein induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), which causes a severe allergy to virtually any food other than peaches.
Little Micah has hardly ever had a pain-free day. In addition to FPIES, he suffers from an immunodeficiency called DiGeorge syndrome and a rare genetic condition known as 15Q13.3 micro-duplication. Every month, his parents have to take him to nine different specialists, and the medical costs are taking a heavy toll. So is the cost of ensuring a steady supply of peaches, which can be a problem to find off-season in Quebec. His parents are so desperate that they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money that will help them with all the expenses.
Photo: Caroline Masson/GoFundMe
Micah was diagnosed with FPIES at six months, and his life has been a constant struggle to hold his food down. Even his only safe option, peaches, cannot be consumed in just any form. He can’t have them frozen, dried, or canned because of the potential presence of additives. The peaches must also be organic otherwise they could contain pesticides. As you can imagine, organic fresh peaches are not something readily available at all times, nor are they cheap.
“Living in Quebec, let’s just say peaches are very hard to find off-season. We are buying peaches in bulk and are running out of funds to do so, as we also have to pay for his complex medical needs,” says his mother, Caroline Masson.
With two other boys to look after, Micah’s parents are really having a hard time. And while costs are a burden, they want most of all to ensure that their baby is happy and free of pain.
“The first solid food we trialled was banana. He proceeded to vomit four hours later, six times in a row and pass out, pale and almost blue,” Caroline says.
She recalls the terror of the first time seeing her little boy go into shock.
“The first time I saw him go into shock from a reaction, I didn’t even know how to help him. I called 911 and they didn’t know what FPIES was. So, we just held our baby boy and cried with him throughout the night.”
Despite the cards dealt him, Micah is a lovely child, as the family say on their GoFundMe page.
“He is an amazing little boy with such a loving personality and loves everything and everyone. He has not had an easy start to life.”
Sadly, there is no cure for FPIES, but there may be hope for Micah. As his mother explains, most children suffering from this condition seem to outgrow it at about four years of age. For Micah, though, such a scenario seems unlikely: while most toddlers are allergic to 2 or 3 foods, he has 27 trigger foods plus other gastrointestinal problems.
Still, his parents aren’t giving up hope and are looking for other safe foods. They are experimenting with rabbit broth and the initial results are encouraging, but Micah is only able to keep down half a teaspoonful a day and that is far from enough. He can also tolerate a special liquid food formula whose cost will be covered by Medicare until October 2018. At that point, he will have to be tested again for dairy allergy to qualify for coverage.
Right now, his parents are hoping they can raise funds so that Micah can have his peaches and get his treatment.
“Life revolves around making sure he is the happiest little boy he can be — and for that, we need to be able to provide him peaches every day.”
This being the season of goodwill, let’s hope that Micah and his family get their Christmas wish.