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One Voice Makes A Difference with Janet Swanson

Jun 6, 2022

Dana talks about her diagnoses of Pancreatic insufficiency at the age of 5 years old and how she beat the odds of what the doctors said. 

For the next few weeks I am bringing recognition to those who have suffered and overcame  childhood disease such as Crohn’s, Ulcerated Colitis, Colon Cancer, Ileostomy bags, Pancreatic disease etc. 

You are going to be so touched by Dana’s story! 

Dana Whitfield Buchli is 35 years old and lives in Statesboro, Georgia and is married to Sam Buchli. 

She was born with chronic pancreatic disease and was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic insufficiency at the age of five. She often refers to herself as “that sick girl” when she was growing up and in college, given she missed a lot of school and was constantly at the doctor or in hospitals.

At 19 years of age, she began to have idiopathic acute pancreatitis which eventually evolved into chronic pancreatitis. There were several years she spent more days in the hospital, than out of the hospital.

11 years ago she had a total pancreatectomy and islet cell transplant surgery in an attempt to ease physical pain and long stays in hospitals. Unfortunately, she had many complications and things did not go as planned for the next 10 years.

In the years after the original surgery she had countless surgeries including surgeries to remove recurring ulcers, bowel obstruction surgeries, and a total colectomy. In this process she endured 3 ileostomies and reversals, organ failure, near death experiences, all the while also being hospitalized for COVID, and type 1 diabetes.

During this time, she also discovered that she will not be able to have children due to the many medical issues and complications involved. This was a different kind of devastation and grief and she is still trying to deal with this news.

All the while, she was also in college and graduate school trying to fit in and live a fulfilled life. Recently, she met her goal and graduated with her master’s degree. September 2022 will be one year without surgery or a major complication, which is a huge win. She still has to deal with many struggles every day just to live a “normal” life and to also deal with the many medical issues that will forever be in the picture.

You will be so inspired and touched by Sam and Dana’s story.  If you want to reach out to Dana you can find her here on Fb.