03/11/2013 02:34 pm ET

The Allergy Buster

For nine years, the greatest challenge Kim Yates Grosso faced each day was keeping her daughter Tessa safe. Tessa was so severely allergic to milk, wheat, eggs, nuts, shellfish and assorted other foods that as a toddler she went into anaphylactic shock when milk fell on her skin. Kim never left her with a baby sitter. She slept with her each night. And when she needed to work, she found a job she could do primarily from home in the evenings. She successfully lobbied the Menlo Park, Calif., school district to provide Tessa with a full-time aide (in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act) to shadow her at all times. She made all of Tessa’s food from scratch, including safe treats to bring to birthday parties, when she could persuade her daughter to attend them at all. Tessa never spent the night at a friend’s house -- she didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in an unsafe environment.

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