PAK gave me comfort saved my sanity

PAK would like to use this space not only to share our news and announcements but also for blog pieces written by the PAK board, PAK members, and by the general allergic community. Stay tuned for details on how you can participate! Here is our first blog piece by Randi Eccleston, PAK President.

I discovered PAK when my youngest child was a toddler(she’s now 12). She had horrible environmental allergies. Spending time outside made her miserable and she could be nowhere near a dog or cat.She always had “allergy eyes”, her nose was constantly running, and her eczema was out of control.  I was lost. I wanted to make my child more comfortable. She was on constant breathing treatments and it was breaking my heart. So I googled. I googled “allergy support Charlotte, N.C.” Up popped Parents of Allergic Kids. I read through the information and found that PAK was in existence to help those with food, venom, and latex allergies. My daughter, thankfully, did not have any of those allergies. However, I thought that if there was a cure found for food allergies then researchers could find a cure for environmental allergies. How naive that sounds now. I saw that PAK participated in the annual FAAN(now FARE) walk. I volunteered that day because again, I thought that a cure was coming. That day I met so many amazing families including PAK founder Jodi Stokes. I was so impressed with her compassion and enthusiasm. 

Fast forward...less than a year later and my daughter was diagnosed with anaphylaxis to tree nuts. I guess I found PAK for a reason because now I needed more support. The diagnosis of a food allergy was terrifying. I honestly do not know what I would have done without PAK, I still feel this way all of these years later. The meetings and events PAK held saved my sanity. I learned I was not alone in this difficult journey, I learned how to take care of my daughter not only physically but psychologically as well. 

PAK has grown from a few moms to nearly 1200 members. On the one hand this makes me overjoyed, to know that so many people are getting the support they need. On the other hand it crushes me to know that so many people have a food allergy diagnosis in our area. 

Here’s to 2018 and beyond! Thank you to all of you, our 1200 plus PAK members. If you are interested in sharing your allergy journey please email us at