Boy with autism only eats waffles, so mom starts GoFundMe to find them

Feb 4 2021, 3:54 pm

A mother in British Columbia has started a fundraiser to chase down and secure Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon waffles — the only food that her 10-year-old son can manage eating.

Jenna is a single mother of three boys, two of which have autism. Jerico Roman, one of her three children, was diagnosed when he was two-years-old and also suffers from extreme oral aversion, complex eating challenges, and he has a highly sensitive gag reflex. Cinnamon waffles are a staple in his diet and he eats up to 14 a day.

natures path maple cinammon waffle

10-year-old Jerico Roman (GoFundMe)

“I’ve tried everything including intense feeding therapy,” writes Jenna Roman, Jerico’s mother and organizer of the GoFundMe.

“But it triggered major anxiety around eating which triggered his migraines when he stops eating and drinking and regresses. It’s a vicious cycle.”

She adds that there was a period of time last February where she suspected Jerico became sick with COVID-19 and “stopped eating for 12 days and stopped drinking for five days.”

“When I was able to get him to start [eating] again he had regressed so much he had to relearn how to drink and eat,” Jenna Roman says.

Before accepting Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon waffles, Jerico ate another brand of cinnamon-flavoured waffles, which, unfortunately, were discontinued last summer around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And as her last supply of the previous brand dwindled, Jenna would sneak in different brands of waffles in with hopes that Jerico might accept them.

Now, she faces a similar dilemma, after Nature’s Path discontinued their offering of Maple Cinnamon waffles.

maple cinammon waffles

(Nature’s Path Foods)

“I’ve tried to see if there’s anything comparable around but there’s nothing he will accept,” she stresses. “I’ve been asking others to help me find the remaining boxes.”

“Not everyone understands the severity of Jerico’s challenge and thinks that eventually he will just accept another kind but it doesn’t work like that. He would go on a hunger strike if I didn’t have his waffles.”

Nature’s Path told Daily Hive that they managed to secure six cases — over 400 waffles — from a warehouse in Illinois. With few left in the Metro Vancouver area, they’re suspected to be some of the last in existence.

maple cinammon waffles

(Nature’s Path Foods)

Jenna’s now raising funds to cover the cost of the waffles, as well as a deep freezer to store them. She says she’s also hoping to find someone who’s able to help replicate the recipe for the maple cinnamon waffles — saying that she’s even willing to purchase the recipe from the company.

“I am even willing to purchase the recipe if Nature’s path allows that,” she says.

“Just needing some security that when my waffle stock runs out that I will be able to make the waffles to feed my son. I’m just trying to feed my son.”

“I’ve been through so much around him just eating, something that would be simple for other children but it’s an extremely hard challenge for my son.”

At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has raised more than $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

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