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Dana Marie Gatziolis

Singer, Songwriter, Speaker and Life Coach - United States

Intuitively, Dana Marie Gatziolis knew that life after ostomy surgery could mean one of two things.

She could either choose to live in fear and feel victimized by her disease, or she could choose to lean into love and allow her wounds to transform her. She could allow light to shine through the brokenness.

Fortunately, she chose to lean into love.

But in 2012, fear had her in a headlock. Due to the severity of her Crohn’s Disease, Dana had to undergo surgery to have her colon removed. The one thing she was most afraid of was losing her ability to love and be loved. She wasn’t sure how anyone could ever love her or how she could ever learn to love herself. At the time, having an ostomy seemed like the end of the world.

Dana knew that if she could learn to fully love herself - ostomy bag and all - then she would never lose her ability to love or be loved. In her heart, she knew that her security and self worth couldn’t rely on anything external, including her own body. Her identity had to be based on something much stronger than that. And so began her greatest adventure.

Dana began to explore what it was that truly brought joy and love into her life. Ultimately, she discovered those things in music, faith and helping others through sharing her story. In 2016, Dana made the bold move to Nashville to pursue music full time.

Everyone has a story, a wound, a brokenness that they fear will deem them unlovable.

Today, through her platform as a singer/songwriter, Dana empowers young women to see past their so-called imperfections. She inspires them to dream bigger and share their unique gifts with the world. Dana knows that when we choose to shine, we give others permission to do the same. She is in awe of the way that her ostomy, the thing she was most afraid of, has not inhibited her. In fact, it has actually given her the courage to live more boldly than she ever dreamed possible. Having an ostomy has changed Dana’s perception of the world and given her an even deeper compassion for others.

Now that’s something to sing about. Dana likes to think that everyone has an ostomy, in some sense. Everyone has a story, a wound, a brokenness that they fear will deem them unlovable. But, when we choose to own our wounds and soak them in love, we can transform them from darkness into light.

Check out Dana's music here.

Dana began to explore what it was that truly brought joy and love into her life. Ultimately, she discovered those things in music, faith and helping others through sharing her story.

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