Shellfish Allergy

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Jmrusb, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Jmrusb

    Jmrusb New Member

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    I am a USMA grad and have a son, a high school sophomore, who has expressed an interest in attending WPt or possibly, God forbid (kidding), USNA. He has all the qualifications to be a top candidate but he has an allergy to shellfish. Will this be an automatic DQ? Should we identify early on and get a waiver so we don't go through the whole process only to be told it is a DQ'ing factor?

    As a grad and an officer for 6 years, I cannot recall ever being served shellfish as Army chow.

    Thank you for your responses!
     
  2. jbsail

    jbsail Member

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    Yes. Good luck!



    Since you are West Pointer (and not from the wonderful academies of AFA, NA, CGA) you have to be told and shown about the SEARCH ability at this site. :yllol:

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/search.php


    I guess it will be his mom taking him on the tours of USNA? :yllol:
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    My cadet has been served lobster on several occasions at WP. (Of course not in the last year or so with the budget crunch.) Usually steak was served as well so there are other things your son could eat.

    There have been discussions on shellfish allergies in the past in the DoDMERB section.
     
  4. ferryman

    ferryman New Member

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    Last year while doing nomination interviews one of the guys next to me told us that USMA DQ'ed him for a shellfish allergy but I am pretty sure he said either USNA or USAFA gave him a waiver.
     
  5. 845something

    845something Member

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    What can be waived and when a waiver is requested are two different things. Your DS may be DQ'd through the DoDMERB exam and one, all, or none of the academies may request the waiver. WP only requests waivers for candidates with a complete file AND that are competitive for admission. Then it is in the surgeon's hand to determine if that condition can be waived.
     
  6. bjrussell14

    bjrussell14 Member

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    I was DQ'ed by DODMERB for a shellfish allergy. USNA gave me a waiver though. I thought it was pretty funny when they served shrimp for lunch on my CVW. From research I've done most food allergies besides peanuts are waived
     
  7. oregon_caller

    oregon_caller New Member

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    Air Force DQ'd for Shellfish and Denied Waiver but there is hope...

    Good afternoon all...

    Short Version

    A few months ago I found this site in desperation for my son. He had dreamed of attending the Air Force Academy. He was notified of an appointment but then told that he was disqualified due to a shellfish allergy, and his waiver had been denied. He had suffered the allergy since he was six, and at this time ingesting a small shrimp would cause 12 hours of throat and tongue swelling and discomfort. The academy said our only remaining option was to challenge the disqualification in the first place. If we could prove he did not have the allergy then he could still get in. Online I found documented studies where individuals that suffered from split personalities would have a severe life threatening allergy to peanuts with one personality, while the other personality(ies) would have no issues whatsoever with it and eat peanuts or peanut products routinely. As I looked into this further I ran across a reference to the Alchemy Institute of Hypnosis in Santa Rosa, and a David Quigley who claimed to have cured allergies with hypnosis. My son found the very same option in his research. We set a series of 3 office appointments and 3 telephone appointments. After the first two appointments, which were both on the same day, my son ate a seafood pasta at a restaurant. It had a whole lobster tail, shrimp, clams, jumbo scallops, and crab in it. He indicated he felt a slight swelling in his lip, but that lasted for only an hour. DODMERB had indicated that shrimp was a minor allergy compared to his reactions to scallops, lobster, and oysters. We found an allergist for the food challenge that was retired military having been on the medical review board for the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and having served as the personal allergist to a US President at the White House as well. He was quite shocked. He said he had never seen someone with such signficant blood reactions but absolutely no physical reaction, and without a physical reaction there is no allergy. He examined my son quite thoroughly because of this variance. In the end he wrote up the report refuting the existance of the allergy and my son's appointment was reinstated. Two days ago my son finished BCT and recieved his boards at the appoinment ceremony. He started his classes this morning.

    I felt the total sense of helplessness and hopelessness that a DQ can generate. I sympathize and empathize with those of you who may be experiencing the same. I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SUGGEST OR RECOMMEND TRYING TO INGEST A FOOD ALLERGEN THINKING YOU CAN MENTALLY PUSH BACK THE REACTION. This experience was with an experienced and well trained professional. I do want, however, to let those of you who may be facing a similar challenge to know that there are options and windows of opportunity when you have had a DQ followed by a waiver denial on your attempt to enter a service academy.

    ===========================================

    Long Version

    There is hope for allergy Disqualifications

    A few months ago I found this site in desperation for my son. He had dreamed of attending the Air Force Academy and working with applied theoretical physics, getting to experience, work with, and develop technologies years before the civilian world would even hear about them. He prepared for years, studying calculus for fun in his freshman year in high school and teaching calculus and physics classes during his senior year. He like many of the applicants graduated Valedictorian with both Academic and Athletic honors at both the local and state level. I even moved to a community 30 miles away from my office for his last two years of high school where there was an ROTC unit that would help him get there. He was notified of an appointment early in the year he graduated high school, but then told that he was disqualified due to a shellfish allergy.

    We went through the hoops of trying to get a waiver. We tested the allergy ourselves at home with a piece of shrimp, and 10 minutes after ingesting he started getting swelling in his throat, tongue, and sinuses that caused significant discomfort and lasted for 12 hours (we had an epipen handy). We spoke to his doctor who thought the DQ was ridiculous but said there was nothing we could do. The local American Legion Post, and our congressman indicated they would try to pull some strings. A couple months later we recieved a letter in the mail congratulating him on his appointment to the Academy and providing his new appointee packet, but we celebrated too soon, as the next day we recieved a letter indicating the waiver had been denied and his appointment rescinded.

    We contacted the academy and were told our only remaining option was to challenge the disqualification in the first place. If we could prove he did not have the allergy then he could still get in. While it was an option, it was not very likely as he had suffered allergies to seafood since about 6 years old. I began searching for cures to food allergies only to find the conventional wisdom says there is no cure and once a food allergy is encountered the subject should avoid that food for the rest of their lives. This would not get him there so we kept looking. I found two sources that actually spoke of curing food allergies. One was a testimonial online of a chiropractic procedure where a man who was severely allergic to shellfish recieved an adjustment by a chiropractor that cured him of his allergy. I searched but could not find any such specialist outside of the online video which did not provide the information on a company, or provider. The next solution I ran across is where things get interesting.

    I saw some video's, and some documented studies where individuals that suffered from split personalities would have a severe life threatening allergy to peanuts with one personality, while the other personality(ies) would have no issues whatsoever with it and eat peanuts or peanut products routinely. Similar observations were made with other allergens but my interest was in food allergens. As I looked into this further I ran across a reference to the Alchemy Institute of Hypnosis in Santa Rosa, and a David Quigley who claimed to have cured allergies with hypnosis. If indeed allergies were more mind controlled then physical body, I felt this might be an option. When I got home from work that night, talking to my son, he ran across the very same person in his research that day. We set a series of appointments. I think there were 3 office appointments and 3 telephone appointments. As we lived some distance away the first two appointments were on the same day. After the morning appointment we went to lunch and my son ate three shrimp. He said the back of his throat felt a little funny but nothing significant. That was a huge improvement over what it had been, but still not a total lack of reaction. That feeling was resolved in the first few minutes of his afternoon appointment. The next day on our way home we went by way of Monterey Bay and stopped on the wharf for lunch. My son ate the house special pasta. It had a whole lobster tail, shrimp, clams, jumbo scallops, and crab in it. He ate half of the meal before he was full. He indicated he felt a slight swelling in his lip (I did not see any significant external swelling), but that lasted for only an hour. DODMERB had indicated that shrimp was a minor allergy compared to his reactions to scallops, lobster, and oysters. After that we started eating seafood every night as he built up his confidence and familiarity with the foods. A few weeks later, and shortly before he had his food challenges with an allergist scheduled, we went back for one more office appointment. After that we saw and he felt no further reactions.

    We searched for an allergist to do food challenges. We could not find one locally, and wound up finding one in a town an hour away. We scheduled the appointments and found out after the fact that he was retired military having been on the medical review board for the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and having served as the personal allergist to a US President at the White House as well. He reviewed the records from DODMERB, and administered the food challenges to all six shellfish identified by DODMERB. This was six different appointments on three different days. In the end, he indicated that an allergy to exist, requires two components. The first is a positive blood test result. The second is a physical reaction. Regardless of the blood test results, if there is no physical reaction then there is no allergy. He indicated that there have been numerous cases where there is a blood result but no physical reaction but those are the exception to the rule. After performing the food challenges with my son he indicated he was quite shocked. He said he had never seen someone with such signficant blood reactions but absolutely no physical reaction. He examined my son quite thoroughly because of this variance. In the end he wrote up the report refuting the existance of the allergy and my son's appointment was reinstated. (They did not get it fixed on all computers and more followup was necessary. Keep that in mind when working with the academies) Two days ago my son finished BCT and recieved his boards at the appoinment ceremony. He started his classes this morning.

    I felt the total sense of helplessness and hopelessness that a DQ can generate. I sympathize and empathize with those of you who may be experiencing the same. I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SUGGEST OR RECOMMEND TRYING TO INGEST A FOOD ALLERGEN THINKING YOU CAN MENTALLY PUSH BACK THE REACTION. This experience was with an experienced and well trained professional. I do want, however, to let those of you who may be facing a similar challenge to know that there are options and windows of opportunity when you have had a DQ followed by a waiver denial on your attempt to enter a service academy.

    Best Wishes
     
  8. James

    James New Member

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    There is hope for almost all allergies. My brother received a waiver for a mild peanut allergy. He is currently attending West Point.
     
  9. mj0970

    mj0970 New Member

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    same peanut disqualification

    I'm currently facing the same situation as your brother for a peanut allergy. However I was issued an epipen for emergencies (requested by my schools) but never had to use it. It takes up to a week for symptoms to show with my allergic reaction such as face swelling and hives. Did your brother have an epipen as well?
     
  10. 845something

    845something Member

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    Epipens are no joke. Maybe your school is like an overprotective mom, but really, they are to prevent you from dying from an allergic reaction in an emergency. That is what DoDMERB is going to believe about your allergies when they see Epipen.
     
  11. blue_murr4

    blue_murr4 Member

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    Allergies

    Such inspiring stories!!!!
    Could you get DQ'ed for an allergy to an animal (i am allergic to cats)
    Food allergies are so serious these days and I really am just amazed on how people deal with these allergies.
     
  12. California Guy

    California Guy New Member

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    My son is allergic to shellfish and was not given the medical waiver from USAFA. USMA Admissions contacted my son stating they thought he would receive a waiver. My son turned everything in and within 6 days he received a waiver for shellfish.

    Now we wait to see if he is offered an appointment?
     
  13. California Guy

    California Guy New Member

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    My son has a shellfish allergy and was not given a waiver from USAFA but was given a medical waiver for shellfish from USMA
     

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