Girls With Guts

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What is it?

“Girls With Guts...Or What’s Left of Them” is a new podcast created by two "twisted sisters" on a mission to empower others to take control of their own health and wellness.

 

Created by two young women who survived a rare, freak intestinal complication (Intestinal Volvulus), the show’s title reflects the ladies’ scrappy spirit - despite LITERALLY getting their guts cut out of their bodies. Even though they were able to lean on each other, both emotionally and informationally, they discovered that they lacked an uplifting, informative health and wellness community that was lead by their peers with chronic illness. Additionally, they found it discouraging that modern medicine, as they experienced it, seemed to only focus on “keeping people from dying” and rarely ever focused on “helping people live.”

What is it About?

Your parents always tell you that as you get older, things will start breaking. When it happens to you, a certain panic comes over your being, as you realize that you may never again be the same. That is why GWG is…

 

“Here for you so that when things start breaking, you don’t break down.”

 

Each week, the gutsy gals do a 30-minute to 1-hour deep dive into a health and wellness topic that they’ve either personally experienced or discovered through friends and medical professionals. After a little chit chat about the recency and/or relevancy of the topic, a guest expert (doctor/survivor/specialist) will be invited into the episode to discuss the topic in further detail. The hope is that by the end of the episode, 1) the listener learns something that empowers them to tackle their own health issues; and 2) they feel like they’re not alone in their suffering.

 

Hosted on LibSyn, listeners can tune into Girls With Guts every week by listening and subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora, and more.

 

In addition to listening to this fun, informative podcast, the audience will also be able to tune into a video recording of each episode, available on platforms such as YouTube and Patreon. This additional medium provides a whole new way to connect with Alanna and Nicole, whom are both cute, fit, petite, and relatable young women.

WHO Hosts?

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Nicole Dambro is an award-winning actress and writer in Los Angeles.

 

Nicole started her career as a dancer and choreographer in Miami, dancing with the World Champion Miami HEAT Dancers and popular artists including Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and more. In addition, you may have seen Nicole on your televisions in several commercials for brands like DirecTV, Excedrin, and Lays. She was even featured as a guest judge and choreographer for multiple episodes of China’s “Qing Wu Men” – a hit TV competition dance show about Chinese dance hopefuls competing for a chance to win a spot on an American NBA dance team.

 

When Nicole moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career, she saw immediate success with leads in multiple feature films and commercials. Even though she continued dancing only as a hobby, Nicole remained in competitive shape to fit the high demands of Hollywood. However, in 2017, after filming her second film that year, Nicole began to develop severe abdominal pain. After being dismissed by several doctors because she “didn’t look ill”, Nicole finally found answers through a female hernia specialist in Beverly Hills, who diagnosed her with a possible Cecal Volvulus.

 

While waiting for answers and a game plan, Nicole started blogging about mental health and how to deal with chronic illness as a way of finding community and managing her own declining health. Then finally, years later, after 3 surgeries and a massive infection, Nicole was finally on her way to recovery – or so she thought. Once she was out of the hospital, she experienced a whole new string of challenges and concerns that her doctors hadn’t prepared her for, including permanent food allergies, hair loss, anemia, complications from adhesions, and more.

 

Now, almost a year since her last surgery, Nicole has started to feel more like her “old self” and has returned to auditioning for TV and film. However, she still feels an overwhelming responsibility to share her experiences in the hopes that it will help others cope and heal.

Nicole Dambro
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ALANNA MARTELLA
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Alanna is a multi-Emmy award winning morning news personality, a keynote speaker and philanthropist.

Alanna was an avid cross-country runner until one fateful day that changed everything. An intestinal volvulus, or a twisted section of small intestine, burst and caused the high school senior to go septic and die for several minutes in her mother's arms in the bathroom of the emergency room. After surviving massive infection and removal of most of her small intestine, Alanna was still on thin ice.

 

Despite all of this, she continued to push herself to catch up in school and graduate with honors. As a critically ill kid, she was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which granted her the opportunity to attend the production of the Today Show -- where she met her idols and cemented her deep love for the News. She went on to pursue a career in broadcasting, and is now a news personality for her hometown NBC affiliate, WLWT (which also does inserts for the Today Show!)

 

Even though Alanna is now seen as a successful TV news personality, she feels it is important to open up about her previous health struggles. In fact, aside from her job in television news, she is a public speaker — hoping to inspire others to go after what they truly want in life despite heavy challenges. She has even hosted Jewel's stage at The Wellness Experience, an annual health and wellness event put on by Kroger and Jewel. 

 

Aside from news and speaking, Alanna continues her pursuit of health and wellness. She became a certified yoga instructor with more than 200 hours, teaching women's groups about the extensive benefits of yoga and meditation. She also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana branch; helped launch the Emerging Leaders Board for Make-A-Wish OKI; and also serves as the liaison between the two boards. Her aim is to give back to the organization that gave her a beacon of light during her darkest hours.

ALANNA MARTELLA

Come together

Alanna and Nicole could never have anticipated that when they sat down next to each other at their friend’s wedding, they’d be sitting next to a stranger from across the country who had the same rare medical diagnosis. As Nicole took a bite of her dinner and lamented about her recent intestinal surgeries, Alanna was shook. She shared that she too had suffered from the same freak attack of a cecal volvulus! And that wasn’t all they had in common – they both became ill while in incredible shape with no preexisting illnesses… and they were both on-screen talents. Once their weird connection was established, the two began to lean on each other for advice and support.

 

Following the wedding in 2019, Nicole had two more surgeries that Alanna helped guide her through. Then, earlier this year, Alanna found out that she needed surgery for an intestinal obstruction caused by scar tissue – scar tissue from her surgery that took place 10 years ago. Suddenly, Alanna was experiencing post-surgical challenges that she had long forgotten about, making her feel the confusion and stress Nicole had recently fought through. Now, Alanna was feeling the pull to reach out and share her experiences too.

 

After being stuck in quarantine and trying to find a productive creative outlet, the two ladies had a phone conversation that set everything in motion. Across the country from each other, Alanna and Nicole had been obsessing over ideas of the two of them creating a podcast together. And thus, Girls with Guts was born! That is Girls with Guts...or what’s left of them!

Why Tune in?

Although they are not medical experts, Alanna and Nicole speak from their personal experience of the challenges they experienced in diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of complications from an intestinal volvulus. As proactive and empowered young women, they know firsthand what it means to not have your pain taken seriously, the difficulties of finding the right doctor, and what it takes to be your own health advocate. Through their experiences with such a sudden rare disease, Alanna and Nicole have developed a community of medical and “experience” experts from which they find what they believe to be some of the most powerful and uplifting information for young to middle aged people dealing with sudden health crises.

Who Listens?

While the health topics covered in GWG are for everyone, the majority of episodes are anticipated to speak more to those who directly relate to the hosts: women with chronic illnesses in their mid-20’s to mid-40’s who are either just discovering the challenges of their chronic illness or those with lifelong chronic illnesses who are looking to connect with like-minded chronic illness warriors.

 

However, with their vibrant personalities and unique perspectives, GWG hopes to attract the boyfriends, husbands, best friends, kids, and coworkers of the core audience. Besides learning about the struggles of chronic illness, each of the stories featured on GWGP is nothing short of inspirational.