As Kids Age, Food-Allergy Moms Fight New Battles

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"I get chills every time. We were just so fortunate," Benevento said. "If you dial 911, you assume they're equipped."

Her son is now 8, and his best friend has the exact same food allergies, she said. Two of her closest friends' children were also diagnosed with nut allergies.

"It's extremely helpful because it is so overwhelming to suddenly know that some food you kept in the house and you yourself have eaten for years can make your child so sick," she said.

Jennifer Jobrack knows the feeling. Her 7-year-old has a severe food allergy, and she found herself switching careers to work at the Food Allergy Initiative in Lake Forest, Ill., which has since been renamed FARE, for Food Allergy Research and Education.

"As a mom, I was already living this issue every day," Jobrack said. "Once you get a diagnosis, it changes your life.

"So the opportunity to take that work I was living and do it professionally and help the larger food allergy community was really appealing to me."

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