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

Perseverance • Trust • Gratitude

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.


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.


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 Gerrits talks about fighting for her life and learning to live with chronic illness on The Brave Files Podcast
Top Takeaways:
  • 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
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 and her family, nomads, homeschool, chronic illness, The Brave Files Podcast
Dana and her daughter Claire in the hospital on Christmas
Dana's love of life is evident in her passion for dance
Dana's traveling home in the sunset, The Brave Files Podcast
When air conditions are bad, Dana wears a face mask to be outside. Saving her own life.
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