Food Allergy 101: I don't have to carry you on my back.

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What if my food allergy was a real, live person? And what if I could talk to him about what he's taught me over the years? Every Thursday, I get that chance...

This Food Allergy 101 post originally ran earlier.

I'm walking down the street when Mr. A., my food allergy, runs up beside me.

"Hey," he says. "I didn't think I'd see you today."

I nod and keep walking. The streets are busy with people. Lots of tourists. Walking in front of us is a father holding his child on his shoulders.

"Remember when you used to carry me on your shoulders," Mr. A says to me. "You looked so silly because I weighed so much more than you and you were so, so small."

I keep walking, ignoring him.

"That must have made you tired," he continues. "Everywhere you went, I was on your shoulders. I loved it though. I had the best view around."

"I remember it well," I finally concede. "I did carry you for far too long when I younger. I felt like I was carrying an elephant everywhere I went."

Mr. A. smiles.

"But then I learned something," I say. "I learned that just because I have you does not mean I have to carry you. So I dropped you."

Mr. A. frowns. I smile.


JJ Vulopas is a senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at Follow him on Instagram & Twitter @thelandofcan.