How NUTRITION Saved Dana’s Life after she said NO to a Heart Transplant

I originally met Dana on Twitter @ABCGlutenfree, after we started discussing our love of pies and she invited me over for dinner if I was ever in town.  What I wasn’t aware of was her life battles, until recently, when she was gracious enough to share them in a comment after one of my posts.  I was so moved that I decided it needed to be shared with all of you and hopefully continued to be passed on helping others.  Here is Dana’s story…

Being in the medical profession as well as a health and beauty advisor, I had been helping people with allergies for 18 years. Never had I thought I would need all the information and research I was doing for others, for myself.

I was born with Tetralogy of Fallota, a rare heart defect, and had undergone several open heart and experimental surgeries. I was told I would never have children or lead a normal life. After my children were born, I had to have additional heart surgeries. I was told I needed a transplant, but I refused.  I asked them to fix my heart one more time and here I am.  But, the last did me in.  I also have Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroid Disorder and my thyroid shut down, along with other problems, and they wanted to remove it.

I decided to get additional opinions and ended up working with a nutritionist from Nutrilite.  They suggested to start eating gluten free and after only THREE weeks my Thyroid was perfectly fine.  I have never taken meds, yet have been able to keep my thyroid due to nutrition.  After three months, with additional deletions and additions in my food choices, I was completely healthy! I am still keeping them guessing because it’s a miracle that I am alive. I think I have beaten the odds!

It’s an amazing thing to go from death to health in a few months.  To be able to look at my children, my husband, and know that I did what I could for my health to stay on this earth longer, choosing not to leave it in someone else’s hands!

My family decided to go gluten free after they saw how it affected my life and all of our lives have changed dramatically. My brother died at 41 ( two months after my surgery) from colon cancer.  The doctor told us that the cancer was avoidable had he listened to the “quack” that told him to cut out gluten 15 years previous.  I lost my best friend and business partner because my family refused to see the truth and evidence in the “quacks” information that could have saved his life.  I suffered greatly when my brother died and now everyone is sorry they didn’t do things differently.  His doctor actually threatened me with a restraining order if I gave him any more juices, etc.

It’s a shame really when you have something that can help… I try not to get offended and say it’s like making chocolate chip cookies, you offer them, some people say, yay thanks I love chocolate chip cookies, and other people say, no thanks I like oatmeal raisin better. That’s exactly why I quit medical school, too many people didn’t like the way I baked my cookies, lol!

I lost my love for cooking when I lost my brother, and had to find it again when challenged to cook for myself after my multiple heart surgeries, illnesses and diagnosis.  I am a firm believer in taking care of yourself and not expecting anyone else to do it! I live life each day enjoying the love of my family.


So in love I will say to people, don’t wait till it’s too late, take responsibility for your own health, it’s up to you!  There are people who will help you along the way, you are not alone! If you keep reading blogs like this one and stay informed, you can live a healthy, fulfilling life, gluten free and beyond!

Dana Fuggi Martin grew up in the restaurant business.  She attended nursing school and was pre-med, becoming a physicians assistant and certified surgical assistant. She is a strategic partner and Amway IBO Health and Beauty Advisor with Markerman Productions.  She also runs a non-profit called Kitchen Angels, which cooks for those who have been newly diagnosed with food allergies or health issues or have undergone surgery. She is also a wife, the mother of two young children who help her host, ABC Gluten Free, a LIVE cooking show for all food lovers!  She currently is doing recipe and product development for several different gluten free companies (undisclosed).  Even though she has never been to culinary school, Dana had the opportunity to study under a cordon bleu chef for many years with catering through her restaurants. You can find here at FACEBOOK HERE.
*If you would like to share your story, please email me at
Tags: ABC Gluten Free, Cancer, CELIAC DISEASE, eating right, Gluten Free, GlutenFreeGal, Hashimotos, Healthy Living, Thyroid

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I was diagnosed w/ Celiac disease in 2010, after 7 agonizing years of misdiagnosis. Once I started living gluten free I felt 100% better than I did, but something was still amiss. Giving up gluten was only the beginning of my long journey to gut health and healing.

Everyone is different, there’s not one lifestyle that can work for everyone. Living the gluten free lifestyle is not an easy one and can be very overwhelming: from grocery shopping and social events, to deglutening your own household. I

Let me help you navigate through the gluten-free maze more seamlessly with tips, tricks, humor, healthy recipes and more.

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