When Dede Cummings of Brattleboro, Vermont was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic and often debilitating digestive disease, it turned her life upside down. She was overwhelmed and isolated because of the unrelenting symptoms, chronic pain, side effects from the medications, hospitalizations, and doctor appointments. That was in 2001.
Eventually Dede had surgery to remove part of her small intestine and some of the large colon, and it helped to put her into remission. She was treated at both Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. She regained her life back and has been trying to live every moment to its fullest since. But Crohn's comes back in many post-surgical patients. Although it has been just over four years since her surgery, every day she still worries and wonders when her symptoms will return.
Dede is doing something to help others like herself: she wrote a book called Living With Crohn’s & Colitis: A Comprehensive Naturopathic Guide for Complete Digestive Wellness published by Hatherleigh Press and distributed nationally by Random House with endorsement from Peter D’Adamo, ND, author of Eat Right For Your Type, and Emeran Mayer, MD, from UCLA. Dede's co-author is from Portland, Oregon, and she is a rising star in the field of naturopathic medicine--her name is Jessica Black, ND.
Cummings will also be hiking another section of Vermont's historic Long Trail this summer, and more on that can be viewed at this link: www.greenmountainclub.org
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Dede Cummings, author and Crohn’s patient, has been a book designer for the past 25 years. She holds a BA from Middlebury College in Literature. Her hobbies include hiking, yoga, running, reading, gardening and backcountry skiing. Dede has been published by Family Fun and Mademoiselle magazine and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Newsletter. She was a Discovery/The Nation poetry semi-finalist, and currently writes in a salon hosted by the author Suzanne Kingsbury.
Dede is a 2010 graduate of the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education course “Publishing Books, Memoirs and Other Creative Non-Fiction,” under the direction of Julie Silver, M.D.
Dede lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, in a house built by her husband, Steve Carmichael. They have three children, Sam, Emma, and Joey. After Dede’s most recent hospital stay and surgery for Crohn’s disease in 2006, she began hiking the Long Trail (the length of Vermont) in one week sections, beginning to realize a long-term goal that had been put off due to illness.