CHARITABLE Caitlin Cawte wants to give something back to an organisation that has helped her control a severe allergy.
Nine-year-old Caitlin, of Beaconsfield Avenue, Cosham, was diagnosed with a nut allergy when she was just six – even though she had previously been able to eat them.
Dad Richard, 36, said: ‘Caitlin had a chocolate bar with nuts in and she said her tongue felt funny.
‘We told her to stop eating it and decided to take her to the doctor’s.
‘From the time we saw the doctor she had eaten another chocolate bar with nuts in and this time it caused a rash to appear. When we saw the doctor we were told she needs to avoid all nuts.’
Caitlin’s allergy is so severe that she needs to carry an Epipen with her, which can give her a shot of adrenaline when she suffers a reaction.
Richard, a heating advisor, said: ‘About a year ago we had to use the pen. She had a cut on her cheek and someone who had eaten nuts gave her a kiss. Her reaction was so bad she started going blue and it was scary. We used the pen and then got her to hospital.
‘No two reactions are the same though, so we never know how severe it will be.’
The family have been given a lot of support from the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
To say thank you, Caitlin is cycling 15 miles from her home, down Eastern Road, along the seafront, before heading back home.
She has also been growing her hair for the past year.
She is due to have 20cm of her locks cut off. This will be donated to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children with cancer.
Anaphylaxis is an extreme and severe allergic reaction, which affects the whole body, often within minutes of exposure to a substance.
Mum Kerry, 35, a teaching assistant, said: ‘It is sometimes very hard to live with her allergy as she has to be careful and avoid nuts wherever she goes and this is a worry for all of us.
‘The Anaphylaxis Campaign has helped our family by giving us information to help children have a normal life.’
To sponsor Caitlin, go to justgiving.com/caitlin-cawte.