Virginia Beach high school senior fights for latex allergy awareness
10
October

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , /


(ANITA) ALLERGIES AREN’T JUST A NUISANCE. FOR SOME PEOPLE THEY CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS. (TOM) IMAGINE BEING ALLERGIC TO A COMMON SUBSTANCE – THAT COULD INTERFERE WITH YOUR ABILITY TO LIVE A NORMAL DAILY LIFE. 10 ON YOUR SIDE’S TAMARA SCOTT TALKED WITH A VIRGINIA BEACH SENIOR WHO SAYS HIS LATEX ALLERGY IS IMPACTING HIS ABILITY TO GET A JOB. (TAMARA) 17 YEAR OLD MICHAEL HAS ONLY RECENTLY DISCOVERED HIS ALLERGY TIO LATEX BUT IS VERY QUICKLY FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE (TAMARA) THIS ISN’T NEW TO HIM, BUT HE WANTS TO MAKE IT SAFE FOR EVERYONE WITH THE ALLERGY. (TAMARA SCOTT) “I DON’T GO ANYWHERE WEHERE THERE ARE BALLOONS. I DON’T GO ANYWHERE WHERER THEY USE LATEX GLOVES I DON’T EVEN STEP FOOT INSIDE THE BUILDING. SO IF THAT HAPPENS BY ACCIDENT, I’LL START TO HAVE A REACTION.” THIS IS THE REALITY FOR THE RUSSO FAMILY IN VIRGINIA BEACH. LISA RUSSO AND HER SON MICHAEL BOTH SUFFER FROM A LATEX ALLERGY. “USUALLY I START TO LOSE MY VOICE. THAT IS THE FIRST THING, AND THAT IS A REALLY SCARY THING BECAUSE LOSING YOUR VOICE MEANS YOUR THROAT IS SWELLING AND YOU’D BE HEADED FOR ANAPHYLAXIS. RECENTLY MICHAEL APPLIED FOR A JOB AT A RESTAURANT – BUT HE SAYS HIS ALLERGY GOT IN THE WAY OF GETTING THE JOB. “WHEN I TOLD HER THAT I HAD A LATEX ALLERGY AND IT WOULD PREVENT ME FROM BEING ABLE TO WORK THERE SAFELY, I WAS NOT GIVEN THE JOB.” THIS IS PART OF WHAT KICK STARTED HIS MISSION TO MAKE PEOPLE MORE AWARE OF HOW THEY CAN AVOID IT AND MAKE IT EASIER TO LIVE. LISA SAYS SOMETIMES THEY CARRY MORE THAN 5 EPI-PENS WITH THEM JUST IN CASE (NATS) A PROCLAMATION FROM GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM THEN TODAY FROM MAYOR BOBBY DYER SET THEIR GOALS IN MOTION (NATS – WHEREAS …….) THEY PROCLAMED THIS WEEK TO BE LATEX ALLERGY AWRENESS WEEK. THEY HOPE TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND IT’S NOT JUST GLOVES OR CONDOMS THAT ARE THE PROBLEM. BUT THIS IS ALSO BIG PICTURE. THEY WANT TO SEE THE STATE MAKE PERMANENT CHANGES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE WITH A LATEX BAN. “I JUST HOPE THAT PEOPLE REALLY START TO UNDERSTAND HOW DANGEROUS IT CAN BE AND THAT THEY START TAKING THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS FOR THEMSELVES SO THEY’RE NOT EXPOSED AND THEY DON’T DEVELOP THE ALLERGY THEMSELVES.” (TAMARA) THEY ARE HOPING TO GET SPONSORS FOR A BILL THEY ARE WORKING ON TO BAN AT LEAST LATEX GLOVES IN OUR STATE FOR FOOD SERVICE AND MEDICAL RESPONSE. THEY HOPE TO JOIN STATES LIKE HAWAII CONNECTICUIT AND OREGON. TS TOYS


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