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Jolene’s Story

Sharing your stories – Allergy Awareness Week 2014

Alot of my regular followers will probably know about the fabulous CMPA Support and all the fabulous work that they do. You may or not know the person behind this charity is Jolene. She has 2 children, Oscar her son, is 5 and doesn’t have any allergies (that they are aware of) and her daughter Niamh who is 4, has CMPA and soya allergies.

This is how it all began…

My name is Jolene, I have 2 children, Oscar my son, is 5 and doesn’t have any allergies (that we are aware of) and my daughter Niamh who is 4, she has CMPA and soya allergies.

This is my personal allergy journey, so far;

My daughter, Niamh, was diagnosed with CMPA shortly after turning 6months old. I had never heard of Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy, and I was so confused, how could b baby be allergic to milk? I didn’t even know that formula was made from cows milk at that time!

The symptoms which she had suffered from for the previous six months finally had a reason though, and I felt relieved that I hadn’t been imagining it all!

Niamh was exclusively breastfed until weaning – she was a very unsettled baby. She didn’t cry for feeds, and she struggled to gain weight. She had gastro issues from day one, severe bouts of flatulence which smelled unpleasantly like sulphur, accompanied by screaming for hours at a time pulling her legs up in obvious discomfort. He’s stools were green and mucousy and she suffered from bloatedness. Less common problems were blood in her stools at a few days old, and occasional projectile vomiting (I later realised this always happened if I’d eaten something heavy in dairy, like pizza or lasagna.)

She also had dermatological problems, eczema, rashes and “milk spots” very early on. She also had a constant blocked or running nose, sneezed regularly and often had crusty eyes.

I had visited my GP and Health Visitor on numerous occasions, but none of these symptoms were linked together by them and, as parents, we weren’t aware of CMPA so we hadn’t put the symptoms together either. We were treated for each individual symptom, but of course nothing helped.

Niamh had severe reactions to cow’s milk in the form of allergic colitis (extremely bloody mucousy stools) soon after we started weaning her and she had a petit filous and then her first ever bottle of formula milk (not through lack of trying, I first attempted to give her formula at 4 weeks but she would clamp her mouth shut and refuse or scream the place down.) Her reaction was so severe we had to go to A&E and following a short admission, she was diagnosed with CMPA the following day.

We were referred to a dietitian who advised complete dairy avoidance. After a month her symptoms had not fully improved, and we were advised to avoid soya, within a week she was notably happier, and after 6 weeks she was like a new baby. 

It wasn’t plain sailing from there, we struggled to learn how to deal with the day to day management, avoiding cross contamination, what to feed her, how to deal with having to say no to food when eating out ect. Oscar, who is 16months older eats a normal diet, and as Niamh got older this came with it’s own problems.

I have been on a constant mission to find dairy and soya free alternatives for Niamh, because I never wanted her to feel left out. I felt completely alone in my struggle so I created  a Facebook Group, Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy Support (@CMPAsupport), which started with the idea that I wanted to put together a group where you could find dairy and soya free recipes, foods and alternatives to everyday things like milk, cheese, chocolate and ice-cream all in one place.

Over a short period of time the group became much much more, and that is how our charity was born.

We’re currently raising money to fund a new website, which we hope will make it even easier for allergy families to find alternatives to every day foods, sites such as allergy buddies which sell awareness products, and other useful information. It’s already on the site, but it’s not as easy to access as it could be, we know it could be so much better!

Please pop over and say hi, and if you want to support us by raising funds just drop me a message and I’d love to help out!

Jolene’s support can be found at

Web ; CMPA Support

Facebook ; CMPA Support Facebook

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Who are we?

Allergy Buddies are custom made products to alert everyone of a child’s allergy or intolerance.


Ever had an instance at a crèche, party, play-gym where someone has given your child something that made them ill? Yes me too. I’m sure like me you want to keep your child safe and that is where Allergy Buddies comes in. My little chap is so far intolerant to diary, eggs and we think citric acid as well as hayfever of every description and pet allergies. So I decided to create a brand that would allow a child’s allergy/intolerance to be easily identified by any carer, teacher and other parents and to help prevent those dreaded slips.