rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


This is Ian and Karen’s story, about how they discovered their little three year old daughter was allergic to nuts and getting that first anaphylaxis diagnosis… Ian tells the story about how something so simple as feeding the birds started the allergic reactions.

Just feeding the birds

In March 2014 my little girl JoJo and I were out in the garden feeding the birds, as per usual, but this morning’s feeding of the birds was about to change our lives!

3 yo JoJo supporting Allergy UK - diagnosed anaphylactic to nuts

JoJo supporting Allergy UK

It just so happened that I had to book time off work as JoJo was ill over the weekend, so I had to look after her as my wife Karen was working.

I was washing up and JoJo was on the sofa playing on the tablet, she was complaining that her eye was feeling funny. I looked at it but couldn’t see anything physically wrong with it, so I gave her a wet tissue to put on her right eye.

In less than two minutes she started crying and said that her face was hurting, I looked round and to my horror the right hand side of her face had swollen up and her eye was completely closed!

Antihistamines and 999

So panicking in the usual parent manner, which I tried not to show too much, I reached for the phone and dialled 999.

I told the emergency service what had happened to JoJo, but couldn’t explain why. Her face was swollen but her breathing was ok, she was responding well at the time.

They told me because her breathing wasn’t compromised it wasn’t classed as an emergency call out and I should take her to the doctors.

So I gave her some antihistamines and we went straight to the doctors for an emergency appointment.

Getting the allergy diagnosis and finding out what anaphylaxis means

The doctor told us that she had the symptoms of an anaphylactic shock and stated that he was angry at the emergency services as this could have lead into having a full blown anaphylactic shock!

Anyway a trip to St Peter’s Hospital was in order, her face was still swollen but it wasn’t any worse or better.

My wife arrived a bit later and we saw the doctor who explained everything to us. It was stuff that we didn’t want to hear. Being told that your little girl has life threatening allergies was a big blow to us, but as JoJo was only 3 years old she didn’t understand what was happening.

As many of you know it’s really difficult to manage something like this, especially when it’s your child you have to be on guard 24/7.

Ian Connell raises money for AllergyUK at London to Windsor bike ride

Ian at London to Windsor

Everything we purchase with a label whether its soil for the garden, drinks, cereals or hair products has to be thoroughly checked for traces of nuts. One mistake could lead to her having a full blown anaphylactic shock.

Allergies run in the family

I suffer from Asthma and hay fever and my other daughter Isabel suffers from asthma so after my wife Karen pointed me in the direction of a charity called Allergy UK, who were trying to recruit people for a 100km bike ride in June 2014, I thought, why not! It was something I have never done before and it was a great way to challenge myself and also get much needed funds and awareness for a charity that gave us lots of info and advice:

The fundraising begins…

So since last year I took part and completed the 100km Nightrider 2014 across London in June, held an assembly at my girl’s school at Bell Farm with the help of Julia Kitchenham to raise money and awareness in September 2014, completed the London to Windsor ride 2014 and also took part in this year’s Nightrider 2015, to which I managed to help get a full team together.

Anytime Fitness raising money for AllergyUK

Anytime Fitness raising money for AllergyUK

I am also working closely with the Anytime Fitness Gym in Twickenham. The gym’s manager Simon Parish and I held a gym event in December 2014, which was to row, cycle, run, walk the equivalent of 1000 miles. With the help of Simon, his staff and the gym members we had fun and raised money for Allergy UK.

If you live near Twickenham, come and support our fundraising 24hr spinathon

This year on June 26th we are holding a 24hr Spinathon event, which entails keeping at least one spin bike running for a 24hr period. The event will also include spin classes, an insanity class, movies projected in the studio for the charity spinners and product stalls from Karen Burleton who runs the company “Everything but the cow”
UK’s Leading Dairy-Free Protein Drink – Re-energise the Dairy-Free way with Everything But The Cow’s range of all-natural protein based drinks. Soya protein (non-GMO of course) is blended with real fruit and a touch of honey providing a delicious, healthy and balanced option for active adults and children on-the-go. Nothing added. There will also be a range of health, well-being and fitness products provided by myself for sampling.

Simon Parish of Anytime Fitness with Ian Connell

Simon Parish and Ian Connell outside Anytime Fitness Twickenham

With the help of Anytime Fitness Twickenham this is set to be a great fun filled 24 hours, and there are many members of the public taking part to make this happen, to which I am very grateful and thankful to be a part of!

It is people like Simon, his staff and the public that help people when they most need it by taking part in events like these. They also inspire me to do more and come up with more ideas.

So please feel free to come along and take part in our charity event, try out some products, put a sweat on by having a session on a spin bike or if you’re feeling really energetic take part in the insanity class at 12 midnight on the 27th!!

If you would like to donate towards our event please follow this link:

and click on “Anytime Fitness Twickenham AUK’s fundraising”

Hope to see you there and thank-you for reading.

Anytime Fitness Twickenham ,1st Floor, Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham, England TW1 3QS



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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