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Yuma Sun - - DESERT LIFE - Keith Roach

“My grand­mother wanted to help her, but my mother just couldn’t re­late to her.”

With Ni­cosia strug­gling fi­nan­cially, Dun­stan lived with her grand­par­ents from age 9 to 11, a pe­riod that “opened up the world for me.”

Dun­stan was back with her mother in the San Diego area when at age 16 she got the news her mother had died. Louise had been suf­fer­ing back prob­lems and a co-worker took her to a doc­tor who gave her a shot. On the way home. Louise got sick. She died later while rest­ing on the co-worker’s couch, Dun­stan says.

Dun­stan was taken in by the fam­ily of the book­keeper at the high school she was at­tend­ing.

“No mat­ter what hap­pens, if you be­lieve in your heart, you can over­come the odds. I al­ways felt all you need is one per­son who truly loves you. I also learned that peo­ple step up and help you in the most un­ex­pected ways.”

Some­one else who stepped up was one of Dun­stan’s coaches at her high school, who of­fered to pay for her tu­ition and books to at­tend San Diego State Univer­sity. And even though she did not fin­ish her stud­ies at that univer­sity, Dun­stan never for­got an­other les­son she learned from her mother.

“My mother used to say, ‘Your ed­u­ca­tion is your credit card to life.’ She would say, ‘You don’t want to live like we are.’”

So af­ter hav­ing fol­lowed her hus­band, a Marine pilot, from as­sign­ment to as­sign­ment, af­ter hav­ing en­joyed her own ca­reer in real es­tate in Yuma, she re­sumed her stud­ies at NAU-Yuma, ul­ti­mately earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s in lib­eral stud­ies in 2005.

For one of her classes, she turned in a paper about her mother’s life, and her pro­fes­sor, Natalie Hess, in turn, scrib­bled a note on it.

“(The note said) ‘You have a story to tell, you need to write a book.’ She was one of my mo­ti­va­tions to do that. Once I re­tired, I had the time to join the writ­ers group, so I started writ­ing.”

But within the pages about an or­phan­age and a train, the book re­lates an­other story about peo­ple chas­ing a dream in the early 1900s.

“It was an im­mi­grant story — im­mi­grants com­ing for the Amer­i­can dream ... not find­ing it, strug­gling to find it and, maybe af­ter the third gen­er­a­tion, find­ing it,” Dun­stan said. “And that was me.

“I was very blessed: I had a fab­u­lous real es­tate ca­reer. We have great friends. I am very blessed.”

DEAR DR. ROACH — Would you be so kind as to send me a copy of your rec­om­mended low­car­bo­hy­drate diet? I have been try­ing to fol­low what I think it should be, but would like an ex­pert diet on which to base my food se­lec­tion. — K.H.

AN­SWER — There is no spe­cific diet I feel com­fort­able rec­om­mend­ing for ev­ery­one. For peo­ple who want a lower-carb diet, I rec­om­mend elim­i­nat­ing pro­cessed starches, like white bread, pasta and rice, while con­tin­u­ing to eat veg­eta­bles and fruits. There is very good ev­i­dence that a plant-based diet, with no more than mod­er­ate amounts of an­i­mal pro­tein, is a healthy over­all diet for most peo­ple. In­creas­ing fats from olive, nut and veg­etable oils is rea­son­able, and there is some data to show this may

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