Our family has been vegan for the past 8 years. My husband and I had been vegetarian for about 10 years before we all became vegan. Currently, we have 5 children and I am pregnant with #6. Our 4 biological children, ages 10, 8, 6, and 4 have always been vegan and have never eaten meat or dairy products, and were breastfed for at least 2-3 years. The oldest 4 are our biological kids. They have always been healthy and we've never had any health issues with them. They are all very tall, slender and strong. They participate in many sports and are very active.
Our fifth child, our 3 1/2 yr old daughter, was adopted last year from China, on December 20, 2006. She was 2 1/2 yrs at the time. She had been diagnosed in Guangxi, South China with an inherited blood disorder, called Alpha Thalassemia, which can be fairly common in Asia and near the Mediterranean areas. We were told that she'd probably need a lot of medical care to survive. Thalassemia patients are known to be very low in iron, very tiny and weak, have bone disorders (from low iron and weak bones) and often need blood transfusions to stay alive. When we adopted her, we had faith that our diet would bring her peace and good health, and that she would not need blood transfusions or any drugs to treat this disease, and that she would grow big and healthy. When we first brought her home, they tested her blood and found her to be low in iron and high in lead (from growing up in an orphanage and poor foster homes with lead paint). They also discovered that she had 3 out of 4 gene deletion for Alpha Thalassemia. It sounded awful, but she appeared fairly healthy to us though and was thriving on her new vegan diet after being with us for a few short weeks. The doctors kept a close eye on her and we pumped her with more veggies, fruits and carrot juice!
We have had her now for a little over a year. She is 100% healthy, has never needed or had a blood transfusion or any drugs of any kind. She has never been sick for us. We have been seeing a specialist/hematologist at Rainbow Childrens' University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio (where we live). Our daughter, Luanna, has grown a lot this year and is at the top of the chart in height and average for weight. Her hair is thick and shiny and she is growing big and strong. After a year, the doctors are baffled. How can a child with 3 out of 4 genes missing for this Thalassemia disease be so healthy, not need transfusions, never be sick and be growing like a weed?! Our hematologist told us at our last appt in November that we do not need to come see him for another year (just our regular yearly check up), since he said she needs no medical interventions, and is thriving on "whatever we are doing with her". The doctors may be confused, but we know why. We have read the China Study book, many other vegan diet books as well as all the Hallelujah Acres information. We feel pretty knowledgeable on the whole vegan diet now and know it is the best thing ever! We were meant to live and eat this way and our children our testimony to this.