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Adrian Peterson can smile now, but food allergies threatened his life last summer.
Adrian Peterson's accomplishments on the football field suggest he could be Superman incarnate.
The way he makes some of the world's best athletes look silly on the gridiron, his less than 10-month recovery from a torn ACL and falling nine yards shy of setting the NFL's single-season rushing mark suggest invincibility.
But not so fast. Superman had his kryptonite, and Peterson's is life-threatening allergies.
After downing a couple of bowls of seafood gumbo during lunch at training camp last summer, Peterson began to show symptoms of anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction).
Luckily for him, nearby trainers recognized the symptoms and administered an EpiPen auto-injector. They dialed 911, and Peterson received further emergency care from a nearby hospital.
Shortly after the incident, Peterson met with an allergist who diagnosed his severe allergy to shrimp, scallops and lobster.
The incident and diagnosis have forced Peterson to alter his lifestyle, which now includes carrying two EpiPens at all times.
"My game plan is to know my food allergy," Peterson said. "Make sure that I’m avoiding them. I always have access to EpiPen auto-injectors and seek further assistance if a life-threatening reaction occurs."
The experience has led him to partner with Mylan Specialty to celebrate its 25th anniversary of the FDA's approval of EpiPen.
Peterson encourages people of all ages to visit 25YearsofEpiPen.com to learn more about life-threatening allergic reactions.
One in 13 children are diagnosed with anaphylaxis, Peterson said, which motivates him to educate others on proper prevention and treatment.
"People listen when I talk. That’s something I’ve learned," Peterson said.