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Life Wide Open – EP. 14

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Dana Gerrits joins Heather Vickery on The Brave Files Podcast to talk about living with a chronic illness, homeschooling and raising five children as nomads



Top Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Beauty can be found even in times of pain.
  • Your own experience is valid, even if others struggle to understand it.
  • There are many ways to find and connect with a community that supports you

Show Notes:

Dana Gerrits packed her five children, herself and her husband into a 24-foot RV to travel the country. This is courageous all by itself but add to that managing a dangerous and chronic illness. This requires an extra dose of bravery. But that’s just what Dana decided to do — which is why she’s our guest for this week’s episode of The Brave Files.

While pregnant with her youngest child, Dana started to get extremely ill. She casually assumed her troubles her related to pregnancy and shrugged it off as “nothing more than hormones.” However, after multiple trips to the emergency room, she started to think she was going crazy. What in the world was making her sick and why couldn’t they fix it. Finally, Dana decided to trust her own instincts, and found a doctor who listened. Eventually, she was diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Disorder.

Dana and her daughter Claire in the hospital on Christmas

This devious and strange “disorder” means Dana needs to always be on guard. Her body fights to keep her alive and by doing so, it nearly kills her. Although living with her condition has its challenges, Dana chooses to live a full life. She honors her body and its fight by dancing.  She and her husband also made the decision to live nomadically, taking their homeschooled children on a cross-country RV adventure. Both Dana and her husband continue to work remotely from the road. Dana blogs about her family’s journey here. After months of cross-country travel, Dana and her family have finally re-settled in a Colorado.

Dana Gerrits and her family, nomads, homeschool, chronic illness, The Brave Files Podcast

Tune in to hear how Dana and her family stay connected to their community, balance seven people in a tiny space and her manage her illness. Learn what gave Dana the courage to take on this adventure and prepare to be awed!

Dana's love of life is evident in her passion for dance

When air conditions are bad, Dana wears a face mask to be outside. Saving her own life.

Dana's traveling home in the sunset, The Brave Files Podcast

Giving is Good:

A warrior at heart, Dana Gerrits supports the ongoing battle for social justice and supports  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which fights for the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Dana Gerrits joins Heather Vickery on The Brave Files Podcast to talk about living with a chronic illness, homeschooling and raising five children as nomads
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About Your Host:
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.
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