Four-year-old Kaitlyn Garon has food allergies so severe that she is fed through a stomach feeding tube and cannot eat anything by mouth. She has Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a rare condition that leaves her unable to eat anything. After being diagnosed with the condition at the age of 1, she has spent most of her life adapting to life without the ability to eat. Although she’s only 4, Kaitlyn already understands her condition, and knows to pass up the cupcakes and other treats offered by friends, says theMacomb, Michigan Patch.

According to theHuffington Post,Eosinophilic Esophagitis is an inflammatory condition in which white blood cells in the esophagus attack wherever food proteins have touched the walls. Because of this condition, Kaitlyn is not able to eat any food by mouth. Instead, she receives a formula through a feeding tube while she sleeps.

Since her diagnosis, Kaitlyn has undergone a series of endoscopies and surgeries, including having a feeding tube implanted in her stomach. Kaitlyn’s mother, Michelle, calls her daughter a “total trooper,” explaining “She is such an inspiration because of how she carries herself, and how well she handles the challenges ahead of her. When she’s in pain, it’s chronic pain, but you rarely find her without a smile on her face.”

Kaitlyn’s mom keeps a positive outlook about her daughter’s condition. She says “We stress positivity and strength as much as we can. Kaitlyn walks and talks like other kids, she just can’t eat like them. It makes life difficult, because everything is so food focused, but there are worse things a person can have.”

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