If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be hard to go wrong with the humble, yet delicious peach.
The trouble, of course, arises when you realize that's it. One food. Every meal. Every day. Peach everything.
Not so warm and fuzzy now, is it?
But it gets even worse for a young boy from Montreal, Canada named Micah. He has hardly known any other kind of food in his life. And straying from a diet of peaches could kill him.
Micah was just 2 years old when he was diagnosed with a debilitating disorder called food-protein induced enterocolitis syndrome, or FPIES.
A severe food allergy, FPIES leaves him violently intolerant to virtually every kind of food — even his mother’s milk.
"The first solid food we trialled was banana. He proceeded to vomit four hours later, six times in a row and pass out, pale and almost blue," Masson tells Global News.
Since then, each foray into food has been a nightmare — the outcome spanning everything from intense gastrointestinal pain to rashes to hemorrhagic shock and the harried ambulance ride that went with it.
"He is an amazing little boy with such a loving personality and loves everything and everyone," Masson notes on a GoFundMe page set up to help with the boy’s expenses. "He has not had an easy start to life."
Even the peaches themselves — Micah’s sole safe food — can be a prickly proposition for the severely sensitive boy.
He can’t eat them from frozen, nor canned nor dried because they may contain additives.
They also have to be organic; pesticides would cue the same old nightmare all over again.
The trouble is, fresh, organic peaches aren’t always plentiful, nor are they cheap.
"We are buying peaches in bulk and are running out of funds to do so, as we also have to pay for his complex medical needs," Masson, who stays home to care for Micah and his two older brothers, notes on the GoFundMe page.
According to the FPIES Foundation, there is no cure for the condition. There is, however, hope.
Micah’s family is experimenting with rabbit broth as a possible safe food.
"It seems to be going well, but after two weeks, he is only getting about half teaspoon worth a day. Not much," Masson tells Global News.
Certainly, not enough to substitute for a meal yet. Until then, it will be peaches.
Think you might want to help this family? Visit the GoFundMe page here.