- Sandra's Story
Founder, Sandra Dorst, knows well about change and acceptance. Diagnosed with Anti-Synthetase Syndrome (ASS) at the age of 38, Sandra found herself suddenly confronted with an extremely rare and chronic autoimmune condition. This disease targeted and compromised her lungs, muscles, joints, and skin. For Sandra, a happily married mother of three young children, this diagnosis meant life as she knew it would never be the same. It meant a future of scheduling endless medical visits, lugging oxygen tanks, and enduring doses of prednisone, which promised uncomfortable side effects and high risk for other medical issues. And, of course, it meant emotional upheaval.
Sandra had seen many unexpected improvements, but she was still riddled with chronic and debilitating pain, fatigue and brain fog. She was confronted with the need to change her diet many times after she was diagnosed. She always found changing other parts of her lifestyle much easier than her diet. She initially focused on exercise, sleep health and managing stress. Finally, when her routine and medication schedule stabilized and her symptoms became predictable, Sandra was ready to commit to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet.
She secretly wished the diet would fail her because it's a challenging task to eliminate foods and replace them with unfamiliar ones. "Food is such a source of comfort for many, but for those fighting illness, it's sometimes all they have to look forward to." Thankfully, wishes don't always come true. Instead, the AIP diet turned Sandra's whole life around.
In the beginning, however, Sandra was frustrated. She complained to her husband about how difficult, frustrating and time consuming it was to find compliant food. He suggested she be the one to create a store. Sandra realized her husband was right. Having an entrepreneurial background, extensive experience in supply-chain logistics, and knowledge of the Autoimmune Protocol diet, she knew she could do it. From that moment forward, she worked diligently to open the first store that specialized in Anti-Inflammatory Products.
In addition to ShopAIP, Sandra launched a personal blog soon after diagnosis. It can be found at relativelyunscathed.me. She created and led a local support group for those with chronic illness and/or pain. She is a member of the Tahoe Forest Non-Malignant Chronic Pain Advisory Board. Sandra also joined the Tahoe Forest Patient and Family Advisory Council. She is a trained leader in Stanford University's Chronic Disease and Chronic Pain Self-Management Program and leads groups locally on an annual basis.
"I can help others to be inspired to take control of the lives and health in all the ways still possible."
Sandra founded forHealth.live in order to give individuals dedicated time. Although her time is limited these days, she still takes on the occasional client.
Where it's going
ShopAIP is continuing to grow. What started as a one-woman dream in a desk across from her laundry machine, is now servicing the entire US and Canada with additional five team members. There are plans to grow the product lines, increase the number of products in each line and launch products for all the reintroduction phases of the AIP diet. Sandra receives emails and social media messages from around the world hoping ShopAIP will soon bring these much needed products to their lands. We are continually looking at shipping to figure out ways in which we make make that happen sooner, rather than later.
ShopAIP has committed to giving 5% of profits from ShopAIP to autoimmune related causes, which could include education, support, or research.
We look forward to serving our community for many years to come.