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Miracle Flights takes local siblings from a deadly peanut allergy to eating peanut butter

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A Las Vegas family was dealing with a deadly peanut allergy. Both of the kids were so allergic to even just the smallest amount of peanut dust, that even cross-contamination could have killed them. They went searching for answers and found oral immunotherapy.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clinic in Las Vegas, so they had to travel out of state, twice a month for a year.

The Las Vegas-based non-profit Miracle Flights made it happen. The company provided free commercial airline travel for the family and now the kids are ready to start eating peanut butter.

The Upp Family has spent a lot of time over the past year flying back and forth from Phoenix. Megan will be nine in two weeks and she already knows the flight attendant drills. She showed off her best exit moves and said, “two in the front, two in the back and two overhead.”

Up until this week, she and her 11-year-old brother Tyler had never had a peanut butter cup. “Mom and dad have always told me not to eat peanuts and now they’re telling me to eat peanuts,” Megan said.

The siblings are deathly allergic to even peanut dust. Often the Upps had to say no to birthday parties, school activities, and even sporting events.

Jay Upp said, “I am constantly looking around to make sure there are no peanuts in our area.”

There was also sometimes teasing. “This one kid has thrown peanuts onto the peanut-free table," said Megan.

When Kelly found an oral immunotherapy clinic in Phoenix, they decided to give it a shot, but it required twice a month visits to the doctor there.

“We still had the co-pays. And then when we got there we still had to do hotels and car rentals,” Kelly said. “Having to add the flights on there would have been almost impossible for us.”

Miracle Flights made it happen by offering the family commercial airline travel for free. Jay said it was, “a huge relief.”

But, that still came with some challenges. “We actually pre-board and wipe the seats down, because if they had peanuts on the previous flight, there could still be peanut dust in the air.”

But now, after a year of slowly adding peanut by peanut, the siblings are symptom-free.

Jay asked Megan, “How many peanuts did you eat on graduation day?” Megan said, “24” and added, “I kind of want to eat one right now.”

As for what’s next, Jay said he’d like to take Tyler to a baseball game.

Tyler said he’s ready to keep trying new things, like “peanut m&m’s.”

For more information on Miracle Flights, click here.

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