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Darleen Dannenberg
Hagerstown, MD

*Editor's Note:  Many people have asked us if the Diet works for lupus.  We have had a few cases of "Yes".  This lady has been on the Diet since the since the late 1970's.  If you wish to contact her: 11014 Coffman Ave.  Hagerstown, MD  21740-7617

I started with Arthritis in my late twenties.  I thought I would end up in a nursing home before 35 years.  I was bed-ridden and my young husband had to work two jobs to pay for my medicine.  The doctors talked of replacing my joints in my hands and knees, but I would not hear of it.  I would drag myself with my elbows to let my two small dogs out.  They seemed to be my only friends at that time.  It is funny, but when one is so very sick it seems no one wants to have anything to do with you.  I assume they think all you will do is talk about your pains.  The doctors from Baltimore said I had about ten years to live, the lupus was progressing so rapidly.  Then one day a farmer gentleman in our congregation told me about Dr. Childers in the Organic Gardening magazine.  I read the article (about 1977) and sent for more information.  Dr. Childers sent me a nice letter and a questionnaire to complete.  Right away I went "cold turkey".  I gave up the nightshades, stayed away from any smoking (I never did myself), and started to exercise even though I hurt.  In two weeks I was walking around clumsily and doing a little cleaning around the house.  Then, gradually I started doing more.  As the months passed, I noticed the red butterfly rash disappeared, my hands started to straighten up and I could walk down to the mailbox (about 60 ft) without having to stop and hold onto the fence.  Then one day one of my little dogs grabbed something and ran away from me as he usually did, but this time without thinking, for the first time in his life, I chased him.  You should have seen the look on his face and mine.  Then, I turned around and walked into the house and threw away all my pills.  From then on, I painted the inside of the house (I never did like the colors), I worked on the landscape, and just couldn't stop working.  I was so happy to be able to do things.  Gradually, over the years I have learned which foods bother me and which foods bother me and which foods have nightshades in them as well as vitamins D3 and palmitate ester A and everything you talk about in your Newsletters.  I can't wait for your Newsletters to learn what is new.  It is encouraging to read the stories of others.  I also have learned that sugar bothers me and the chemicals in meat, cheese, fowl, and prepared foods.  Now, I basically eat beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.  People put me down for the way I eat and my discipline, my daily exercising- but if I don't do it, I feel it.  Besides, I am much more healthful now than they are.  I am past menopause and do not take estrogen.  I refuse to take any medicine unless it is absolutely necessary.  I have adopted a big dog that needs exercise so I have to walk with him every day and my husband gets with us and eats like me most of the time.  I know I live life as disciplined as in the Army, but the other way is not a life, it is a "living death" for me.  I know I cannot eat what I would like just for its pleasure, but the pleasure of life for me is a long walk, a beautiful sunset, a twig you plant and it grows into a big beautiful tree you get under for shade, your pets who stay with you and love you even when you are all crippled up.  But the most pleasure I get in life is the finding of Dr. Childers who saved my life, then telling others about it and later watching them start walking without a can and run with their grandchildren.  Somebody up there loves me.