Minnesota boy suffers rare and perplexing allergy
POSTED: Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 4:28pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 4:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Schools deal with all kinds of children's allergies these days but none quite like the one that has been diagnosed in Jackson, Minnesota.
In Mrs. Bosma's 5th grade class at Riverside Elementary nearly every child has one sort of allergy or another.
"So how many of you have allergies," asked Mrs. Bosma.
"During harvest there is dust and all that," said one child.
"I'm allergic to cigarette smoke," said another.
And then there's Grant Schlager's response.
"I have an allergy to cold," said Grant.
Grant's allergy is the one thing kids in Minnesota embrace this time of year, something Grant has to brace for.
"I don't know how else to say it, but you just have to have a watchful eye," said Grant's mother Amy.
His parents noticed something different a couple of summers ago.
Grant went into a pool and came out with hives all over his legs.
Initially, the family thought it was from the chemicals in the pool, but everything checked out okay.
As it turned out, the warmer temperature outside compared to the cooler temperature inside is enough to trigger the cold allergy.
"In particular if he gets a large cold exposure, he breaks out in a lot of hives," said Mayo Clinic's Dr. Martha Hartz who diagnosed Grant's allergy.
She said living in Minnesota's colder climate can be a particular challenge.
But as long as Grant dresses for it and limits his time outside for the most part he's okay, for the most part.
"I can't chug a cold glass of water or anything I can take little sips and stuff," said Grant.
Anything potentially cold he comes in contact with there's a heightened concern.
The family keeps an Epi-pen close by just in case.
"You don't know when it's gonna come," said Grant. It can be a hot day outside and it's air condition and I come into a cold room and just get bumps."
That pretty much rules out moving somewhere warmer for a cure.
Considering all of the other potential allergies, Grant chooses to look on the bright side.
He's able to play ball, walk to school do all of the things other kids can, despite the cold allergy reality.
"It's hard to explain," said his mother. "It's very hard."
Doctors said nearly 1 in 2000 people are diagnosed with the allergy, but many more may have it and just go undiagnosed.
The allergy is one that can come and go, it's not necessarily hereditary and may not necessarily be lasting.
Grant could one day grow out of it.