Katie Cahoj suffered a tick bite causing a meat allergy and now she’s sharing her story to alert others of this life-changing side effect.
Katie Cahoj was raised on a cattle farm. Red meat and dairy was a way of life. What started as a suspected panic attack turned into a life-changing and life-threatening allergy.
Woman Suffers Scary Symptoms
Katie, a lover of the great outdoors, is an avid hiker and kayaker. If it was an activity that involved being in the depths of the Ozarks–you could be sure to find her there.
As an outdoors gal, she was no stranger to bug bites, including ticks. But after one day spent outside, she noticed a few weeks later she felt strange. Katie noticed how her shoulders and neck felt tight. She even had trouble breathing, and her heart rate was erratic. At that moment, she thought she was having a heart attack. Katie even wondered if she was dying.
Katie immediately sought medical care, where her nurse practitioner said she might have suffered a tick bite causing a meat allergy. But it wasn't an allergy she had ever heard of. Doctors suggested she had contracted ‘Alpha Gal' Syndrome.
Tick Bite Causing Meat Allergy
Some ticks carry a molecule called alpha-gal in their salvia, which is found in mammals. Katie thought the mere idea of being allergic to red meat was insane. But she took the allergy test anyway and continued to assume the symptoms she was experiencing were due to stress.
That's when she found herself in the fight of her life during an episode of anaphylactic shock after eating a breakfast filled with cheese and sausage. Little did she know God was about to use her situation to help thousands around the world with her story.
Katie realized then the nurse practitioner had been right. A tick had infected her with the ‘alpha gal' molecule.
At first, Katie Cahoj was devastated to suffer a tick bite causing a meat allergy. After all, she was raised on a farm where there meat and dairy was a staple. For a short time, she fell into a state of fear, too afraid to eat anything because animal products could be found in numerous products in the grocery store. She said, "I had to read every single label. I was afraid to eat anything.”
Katie didn't want to live in fear anymore. She wanted to enjoy nourishing her body the way God intended.
"I felt very defeated for a long time," Katie said. "Then I thought, no, this is not who I am. As a person, I need to get over myself. I need to figure this out."
Using Her Story To Inspire Others
Instead of letting fear take over, she used faith and food in a way to overcome her new life-altering allergy. The result was a love of cooking, creating, and gratitude.
She fell in love with cooking, creating recipes, and sharing her story. God then opened doors for Katie Cahoj to publish her first cookbook titled, ‘An Alpha Gal Cooks,' a cookbook created with safe recipes for other people suffering from the disease. How incredible is our God? He took Katie's fear and allergies and turned them into something extraordinary! Her book and story are bringing hope and healing to others.
Let Katie's story of the tick bite causing a meat allergy be a reminder no matter the circumstance or tragedy, God can and will work all things together for your good and for his kingdom. He can take our ugly circumstances and turn them into packages of hope!
"And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose," Romans 8:28.
WATCH: Katie Cahoj Offers Support For Tick Bite Causing Meat Allergy
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