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Family struggles with food allergy at soccer camp

5:31 PM, Jul 12, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Savannah Baker, 6, loves to kick around the soccer ball.

"She is does the same thing as every other kid, she loves to play soccer, she loves to be a girl, she loves to dress up, but they do cast her out between school and soccer," tells her father Joseph Baker.

He says Savannah is cast out because she has severe food allergies to peanuts and especially beef.

"It is life threatening. She has within 3 minutes to get to her EpiPen and be rushed to the emergency room before she dies," Joseph says.

He and his wife signed Savannah up for half day sessions at Creeks Soccer camp, but were concerned when they received an email talking about children packing lunches.

"Which we were unaware of because we signed her up for the half day," explains Joseph.

He showed FCN an email he sent to the organizers of Creeks Soccer camp asking if they could alert parents to not pack anything containing peanut butter. An organizer wrote back saying that was not realistic. After a few more emails Joseph was copied, likely accidentally, on an email calling him a "nutcase".

"Saying she (organizer) is going to refund me and schools don't cater to "these kids". Adding a stigma to children with allergies as if there is something wrong with them," says Joseph.

He says the organizers apologized and refunded his money, but he says in the future he wants to see more understanding for kids with food allergies.

He also had to explain to Savannah why she wouldn't be playing soccer this summer with her friends.

She was disappointed, but to keep her safe at this point... it was sad we had to change soccer leagues ultimately," Joseph said.

FCN reach out to Creeks Soccer camp for comment, but have not heard back yet.

First Coast News

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