Living with Crohn’s disease as a child can be a very lonely experience for a young girl. Keith and Amy know because their daughter, Sydney, has Crohn’s disease. Meeting the people at the Eau Claire factory where her nutritional therapy, Peptamen Junior® formula, is made provided an important lesson for Sydney—that she wasn’t alone. In fact, she had a factory full of people dedicated to making Nestlé Health Science products to provide specialized nutritional support for her Crohn’s disease. And for the people working at Nestlé Health Science, meeting Sydney was another reminder of how the work they do every day can make an impact on people’s health.
How Sydney got to visit the factory making Peptamen Junior®
Networking with other parents whose children have Crohn’s disease is how Sydney got to visit the factory making Peptamen Junior® formula. Working with their doctor, Keith and Amy decided on nutritional therapy with Peptamen Junior® formula as the way to nutritionally manage the gastrointestinal impairment their daughter was experiencing resulting from her Crohn’s disease. Keith and Amy got to know other parents who had made the same decision in consultation with their children’s healthcare providers to use Peptamen for their children with Crohn’s disease. They were inspired by the story of Zach, who at the age of five started inserting his own feeding tube into his nose.
It was through meeting Zach’s mom, Barb, that Amy was introduced to Nestlé Health Science Vice President, Hoddy. Hoddy invited the family to tell their story to the people who make Sydney’s specialized nutrition, Peptamen Junior®. Listening to patients, according to Hoddy, helps remind people that “what we do every single day matters, that the products we produce make a huge difference in people’s lives.”
Teaching Sydney that she is not alone
Sometimes it is difficult not to feel alone when you are the only one in your school with a feeding tube in your nose. As Sydney told the people at Nestlé Health Science, it can also be annoying “because people keep on asking you what’s in your nose or kids stare at you and run to their parents asking ‘what’s wrong with her?’” One of the reasons Amy and Keith accepted Hoddy’s invitation to visit the people making Peptamen Junior® at the Eau Claire factory was because they felt a visit to the plant would be a great opportunity to teach Sydney that “people actually care.”
Seeing all the people in the factory making Nestlé Health Science products provided an important lesson for Sydney, that she is not alone. “That was one of the things that we wanted to drive home with her,” says Amy, “that all these people are making Peptamen Junior® formula to help you. Peptamen Junior® is not just a package that comes in the mail from a make-believe place,” continues Amy. “It was wonderful to see the people making the product and how much pride they had in their product.”
Amy was also struck by all the quality and safety precautions at the plant. “It was just amazing how protected we had to be with the shoes, and the hair net, the goggles, the earplugs. I mean, it's great to know that the factory making Peptamen Junior® formula has such high quality standards. It was safety first with everything.”
And the Nestlé Health Science employees benefited from meeting Sydney as well. Amy says, “I think a lot of people at the factory were really touched too because they go into work every day and they are making Peptamen Junior® but don’t get to see the people that their product helps.” Kevin, Industrial Performance Manager, toured Sydney and her family around the Eau Claire plant and was one of the employees inspired by Sydney. “Hearing the excitement in the voice of Sydney and her family talking about the products we make every day, and the incredible difference it has made in their lives, makes it that much more meaningful to come to work each day.”
Find out more about Peptamen Junior®
For information on tube feeding and children, visit our online guide for tube-feeding information and resources
Want to know more about Crohn’s disease? Aimee Henrikson, Registered Dietitian and Pediatric Medical Scientific Liaison for Nestlé Health Science, answers the most common questions about the disease and the role of nutritional therapy.