ALLENDALE, N.J.– Marcia Machado of Allendale started out hoping to tell the story of how Dr. Saray Stancic beat MS by changing her diet and lifestyle.
Both women ended up with much more.
After receiving more than $30,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, the duo produced the documentary "Code Blue: Redefining American Medicine."
They said hope it will "provide the prescription" for people to change their habits and end up living longer, healtier lives.
Stancic was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she was younger.
During her 10 years of combined schooling, residency and speciality training, she said, "there was never any discussion about nutrition and physical activity; none of the initiatives that fall under the umbrella of lifestyle medicine.”
“I was at one point dependent on multiple medications [before] I took control of my health," the Ramsey-based internist told Daily Voice. "Today I'm drug-free and I’m doing very well."
Machado, a CBS employee and documentary film maker, approached Stancic in 2014 with the idea of telling her story.
Things grew from there.
""The focus on film is to try to highlight lapses in current medical healthcare system," Stancic said. "We're taught to treat symptoms, we’re writing more prescriptions than ever before and we’re sicker than ever before,
"By just amending our behaviors -- eating an optimal diet, not smoking, moving every day, maintaining a healthy weight -- we can prevent 80 percent of chronic illnesses [such as] heart attacks, diabetes, cancers, things that lead to premature death," she said.
Stancic is living proof that changes in diet, sleep patterns and exercise can make a difference.
“It’s an important message to me. It’s one I want to promote because it changed my life," she said. "I see it now in my own practice in educating and empowering patients to take control of their own health.”