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The Peanut Section

Carrying the Olympic Torch for Allergies

On a normal day, Olivia Piluso is a typical teenager – albeit a very busy one. She takes part in gymnastics, dance, swimming and walks the neighbourhood dogs. But on a recent winter’s day, this peanut-allergic girl felt like much more than an average teen.

“I felt like a celebrity,” she says. That day, Olivia carried the Olympic flame 300 metres through Port Colbourne, Ontario as part of the Olympic torch relay.

It’s Olivia’s active lifestyle that earned her this chance of a lifetime. She entered a contest on iCoke.ca where she recorded her daily activities.

Her mom, Cathy, says Olivia is well-known in their neighbourhood for her active lifestyle, as she is always out cycling, skateboarding and playing basketball.

Cathy credits her daughter’s sense of responsibility at a young age to her allergy, diagnosed at age 3. “When she was younger, it seemed that so much focus was on her allergy whenever she was involved in a new event, but now that she is older and taking more control, it just seems that so much more is now possible for her to do.”

Olivia’s whole family was there to watch her jog with the torch, which they purchased so she could have a lifelong memento from the event. 

Originally published online in November, 2009.

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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.