Girl who can't eat wants to be a chef

08:30 AEST Fri May 11 2012
By MSN NZ staff

A 15-year-old girl who has been told by doctors she cannot eat anything except plain potatoes still dreams of being a chef.

Samantha Pecoraro cannot enjoy pizza, chocolate or even bread. She sticks to a strict diet of potatoes and is fed formula through a gastrointestinal tube.

"I am on the strictest forms of treatment," the Florida teen says in a homemade video.

"All my food has been taken away. I only want to be a kid."

Samantha has eosinophils of the oesophagus, an autoimmune disease that causes white blood cells to attack food as it goes through the digestive system.

If she were to eat any of her favourite foods — like chicken fingers, salads, artichokes or broccoli — she would have extreme vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea, would become tired and her throat would hurt.

Sam's disease affects a number of social situations, as she cannot participate in anything that involves eating foods she is allergic to, ABC News reports.

"It breaks my heart," said Sam's mother, Susan McCarthur.

"She just turned 15 and could not eat birthday cake. During celebrations, she can't eat Christmas cookies or a turkey dinner. She just sits there and eats potato."

But that is not stopping Sam, who is topping her cooking class and calls herself the "blind chef".

"It's my passion. I can't taste it but I use my other senses, like how it looks and smells. If I need honey or ginger, I ask my mum if it's fine." she said.

"I have my disadvantages and made them strengths. Of course every girl wants chocolate and things like that. But when I make a meal, I see people enjoying it and its very fulfilling and I am still part of the meal.

ThinkstockPetition to extend free breast screening

Ask our experts

Should I continue my affair with a married man? Our answer SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EXPERT Dr Gabrielle Morrissey

What's your BMI?


Body Mass Index Measure your BMI >>Find out if your body is in the healthy body mass index range. Calorie CounterCalorie CounterKeep track of your daily dietary intake. Burn BarometerBurn BarometerHow much exercise should you be doing?