Jessica Link (32) loves to read, travel, and bake. Currently, she work as an Associate Medical Director and spends her time creating educational material for healthcare providers, patients, medical science liaisons, and pharmaceutical reps. She really enjoys going out to eat, trying new restaurants, and exploring farmers markets and festivals with her family. However, her food allergies have gotten so bad that she is unable to do these things anymore.
Jessica has dealt with food allergies since childhood. In April 2017, she unexpectedly came into contact with shrimp which caused her to immediately break out with hives and become dizzy. She was rushed to the intensive care unit where she was diagnosed with a shellfish allergy. As she struggled to overcome the allergic reaction, she was hospitalized for a week.
With her food allergies becoming more severe, Jessica has been hospitalized three other times. “I am now scared to leave my home because I could be exposed to my allergies,” said Jessica. “It only takes the smallest amount to touch me to send me in to anaphylaxis.” She is unable to go out to eat very often. When she does, she is in a constant state of fear not knowing if her food or drink came into contact with shellfish. To ease her anxiety and regain her independence, her doctors suggested that she gets an allergen alert service dog.
Jessica was recently approved to receive an allergen alert service dog through Allergen Detection Service Dog of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her assistance dog will be trained to detect and alert her if there her allergen is present. Since each dog must be specially trained to detect the allergen of their owner, the training can be very costly. She hopes to raise $17,500 through RedBasket.org to offset the cost of her allergen detection service dog. “I could gain the life back I lost when this allergy reared its ugly head and would have a partner every step of the way,” Jessica said. Show your support of Jessica’s allergen alert dog journey by making a tax-deductible donation!