Allergic to life, but keeping faith - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Allergic to life, but keeping faith

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Isolated and alone, that is how one woman describes her life living with a chronic disorder that keeps her from normal human contact.

Peg Kleve developed Mast Cell Activation Syndrome as an adult.  

The disorder causes her to be allergic to just about everything, creating a feeling of isolation.

But a feeling that is fading with the creation of a church centered around those battling rare diseases.

Church, an international safe haven, but until recently for Peg Kleve, it was the worst place she could be.

"Just because there is no understanding. How can you become allergic to life? How can you become allergic to people? It is very isolating, but I was told the worst place I could be was church because that's where everybody wears extra perfume and they do their hair and everything is just over the top," said Peg Kleve.

KWWL's Jessica Hartman spoke with Peg through a glass window because the perfume Jessica was wearing could cause a severe allergic reaction, likely sending Peg to the hospital.

Peg's sensitivity to basically everything in life was keeping her from the one thing that could carry her through her struggle, her faith.

That is until those in Peg's life helped found the Believers Baptist Church and created a safe room.

"When pastor said that he wanted to have a room where I could be safe; where I could be with people and be able to be a part of the congregation, I cried. I hadn't had that before. I hadn't had a pastor supporting me," said Peg Kleve.

Now, the church is looking to carry that support to others facing rare diseases.

"We definitely have a heart for it. Chad and I, a year ago felt that we really needed to start a chronic illness support group because of the isolation and the lack of understanding of people in the community," said Peg Kleve.

Small, but standing strong; the new church has three families living with some kind of chronic or rare disease.

The hope is to continue to grow and reach others struggling with their own health battles.

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