Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders
Patient Stories | The Dobrzelecki Family

Three Matching Shirts, Three Matching Diagnoses

The Dobrzelecki family.

The Dobrzelecki family features three EoE patients (from left): Shawna and her two children, Noah and Avery.

Getting Treatment From Our Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders

The Dobrzelecki family has been introduced to eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) three times over.

Noah was diagnosed before he was 2 years old, but his diagnosis was not new to the family. His mother, Shawna, had been diagnosed several years prior and Noah’s sister, Avery, was diagnosed several years later at age 17.

Noah’s symptoms appeared just after introducing solid foods. He vomited after eating any kind of food.

Trying Everything

Desperate to improve their situation, the Dobrzeleckis were making their own baby food and kept seeking treatment. They got a referral to a gastroenterologist. They did a barium swallow test. They talked about gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Yet, Shawna knew there was more to it and asked for an endoscopy. The endoscopy showed EoE.

Keeping “Noah Safe”

Shawna was relieved to have an actual diagnosis. It had seemed to take forever, but now Noah was seeing an allergist and gastroenterologist and started on an elimination diet.

The family created a “Noah Safe” foods system as Noah entered toddlerhood. They put smiley stickers on all foods in their house that were deemed safe for Noah so that Noah, who couldn’t read yet, could easily tell what foods were safe for him.

Receiving Care

Today, all three are seen at the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED). Avery had developed symptoms about two years before she was diagnosed. Her disease was easier to identify because it presented similarly to the way that her mother’s disease presented. They both had reflux symptoms, abdominal pain, heartburn and dysphasia.

Avery was diagnosed after an endoscopy and subsequently started an elimination diet when she was 17.

Noah and Avery are seen by our pediatric specialists. Their mother, Shawna, is seen by the CCED’s gastroenterologists at the University of Cincinnati.

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