DR. SARI MELLMAN, PH.D
Sari Danziger Mellman, Be Your Greatest! My mother, founder, pioneer and developer, wrote this short story in 2008, as a gift to me, Dr. Leon Mellman. Now 35 years later, people are still listening. She founded this organization with the intent and purpose for you to “B Your Greatest!” (B.Y.G)
Have you ever imagined that you would be hit by a drunk driver running a red light and, as a result, not walk for four years?
Now imagine, at the same time, your 3 year old son starts to experience drastic food reactions, causing aggressive respiratory distress, asthma-like symptoms, chronic recurring upper respiratory infections causing hospitalizations, and incredible mental and physical cognitive swings – from extreme fatigue to hyperactivity – all changing day to day.
That was the experience that turned Sari Mellman away from law school and toward nutrition. During rehabilitation from her accident, an alternative educational program was being offered for a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition to a PhD in the Science of Nutrition.
Coupled with her Bachlelor of Business Administration from the University of Miami, this opportunity appeared interesting and, more importantly, possible.
After her unexpected recovery, she was licensed by the State of Florida Board of Medicine as a Nutrition Counselor and introduced herself to the community and found employment with a variety of medical centers and ultimately a research laboratory. Soon after she was employed by the laboratory, they were busy attempting to automate food allergy testing with blood serums, rather han the traditional skin testing, and validate thier results with double-blind studies.
Being involved with this process made Sari realize that there were results obtained that would not be beneficial to the marketing of their findings because many test subjects were provoked by foods not found by their instrumentation.
When she brought these results to their attention, they were ignored and she instructed to tell those subjects that they were not having food reactions. When Sari inquired exactly what those subjects were experiencing, she was told the reactions were Unknowns. She soon realized that there were many more Unknowns than Knowns.
Sari was given freedom to apply the results and which foods were not uncovered by their testing to formulate dietary programs for the participants. Leon Mellman, Sari’s son and inspiration, was one of those participants from the very beginning.
She began to see patterns and noticed consistent weight loss when making specific adjustments to the patterns she uncovered. When Sari wanted to share her findings, she was told that it was not important because they had to validate the instrumentation to sell tests and that she should go home and be a mother.
What a slap in the face! They did not appreciate and value the reality she was showing tehm or that together they could change peoples lives for the bettter. Sari Mellman felt that she was being shown a truth as equally important. People, Leon included, were becoming well, their systems healing. As time went on, it did not matter that the lab scientists, and doctors were not listening.
Now, 35 years later, people are still listening to Sari’s son, Dr. Leon Mellman.
DOC LEON MELLMAN
At the age of three years old, Leon Mellman was a thriving young boy. The wind beneath my wings. He brought so much excitement, happiness, and magic into my life, my husband’s life, and the lives of my parents, Marianne Danziger and Milton Derek Mellman.
Leon was the reason I wanted to have more children, even considering what you’re about to read. Leon was, without a doubt, a serious ball of energy during the first three years, mentally and physically growing. We had just started him in a Montessori program where he tested out and enrolled into the accelerated program. What parent would not be happy ebing told that? In my story, at this time, who would’ve know that within just the next six months, I would face a tragic life changing event that our entire family would endure together, guiding me through more o fmy own self-discovery while pionneering this integrated nutritional program for applied immunology. Leon was having severe food reactions to apple juice and the other ingredients within in, which we now know was the fundamental cause of his cognitive behavioral change. From hyperactivity to extreme fatigue, the apple and apple juice was supressing his immune system and constantly bringing on respirator infections. What happened with Leon was the origin of my inspiration, the motivating factor for the development of this Dietary program. At the same time, Iw as constantly run down as a professional student at the University of Miami and working two jobs. We were at home, reflecting on Leon’s day-to-day changes with his health and how they were so inconssitent and unpredictable (medical professionals had no clear idea or understanding as to why this was happening), when a gentleman by the name of Jack Lalanne came on television with his wife. Jack is a nutritionist, a chiropractor, and a natural bodybuilder. He grabbed our attention as was selling his first product, blue-green algae. This was interesting to me because I was constantly run down, my mother was constatnly run down, and now growing concerns wih Leon’s health. I purchased it and we started taking them as a group. We all felt better, symptoms went away, and it was obvious that our immune systems were improving.
This was remarkable and a pivotal time, right before my accident, when I experienced a higher calling, a sixth sense, and made the change to pursue nutritional science as law school was just beginning. Leon’s symptoms were improving, no drastic attacks or behavioral energetic changes were experienced in weeks, but then it happened. We noticed that when Leon ate an apple or specific brands of apple products with other ingredients on the label, not 100% apple and common a the time, Leon’s immune system immediately reaced like an asthmatic attack, producing excessive amounts of mucus and then, always over the next two-days, cold or flu like symptoms would evolve into strep throat symptoms with green and yellow mucus. By witnessing and assessing this pattern, we weere able to identify brands of foods and the other ingredients that caused his reactions. The blue-green algae supplement was no longer working for Leon’s system. His system did not get stronger or correct this problem while staying away from the apple products and the other ingredients were derived from. At this time, in the grocery store industry, we were suspicious of many corn derivatives in children’s products. Looking back at the time, we also did not have the diagnostic apability to formulate a precise approach, an application, a Dietary Progression with foods that Leon’s system would be compatible with and progress to what we now know are levels of dietary correction.
During my recovery from the car accident, I continued my studies and finished my Phd. Throughout that time, I was also working with Leon and different internships with medical centers that had interest in nutritional dietary practices, leading to the development of our Dietary Progression Program’s software and the Dietary Progession application.
This is where Dr. Leon’s Story takes off and his systme makes the move to heal. Continuing through Leon’s chidlhood, he was constantly aware of what he was putting into his mouth and the way it effected his performance. This developed a finely tuned realtionship of feedback, which we call the immunogenic response. As Leon matured, he understood and started to feel changes. His system was proving to be a fast-acting system and not throwing delayed reaction pattens. During Leon’s adolescent years, the first generation of our software was being developed and I was practicing as a private nutirtional counselor wih our own applications. We used our integrated form and understanding of nutritional immunology to help Leon battle colds any seasonal change most importantly his athletic and academic drive. Even at a young age, Leon was incredibly driven, just as he is today. My husband, Leon’s grandmother, and myself found ourselves asking the question: where did this young boy come from, with all this mental and physical energy? His immune system was not going to let anything hold him back.
It was almost like his immune system was constantly working to make up for lost time. At the age of 13, when bar mitzvahed, Leon was already 6 and a 1/2 feet tall with broad shoulders, weighing between 178 to 185 poiunds. His immune sysem was presenting like an adult. At the age of 15, people were constantly asking about Leon’s muscle development. Again it was like his immune system was making up for lost time. Eating foods that were used correctly and more efficently for his system had more time to thrive and tap into vitalistic energy. We contineud our pioneering effort to utlize this and encourage Leon’s system to reach a level of correction, where he could finally enjoy more food as a teenager but alwways stay awre of the foods and the ingredients being consumed, especially when it acme time for academics and athletic activiies. No one wants to experience a food reaction or have to push through other symptoms when getting ready to perform.
Leon went to state championships in gymnastics, and by the age of 15, he also had a 1st degree black belt in Korean Taekwondo. He joined a middle school basketball team that won county championships consecutively for four years. Because Leon loved structure and function, he attended South Broward High School’s science magenet program and jined the JROTC (Junior Reserve Office Training Corps). Leon excelled through South Broward High School as one of the top athletes in Broward County, receiving academic and athletic awards upon graduation, annd qualified to apply for West Point Military Academy; an incredible honor. This required high level letters of recommendation from the state governor, senator, and military personnnel. In 1996, Leon’s high school graduation was held during the same time as the Summer Olympic Games in Atlant, Georgia. A junior Olympic committee contacted South Broward high School and selected leon and other academically and athletically excelling athletes to represent our country. All were so worthy of being associated with the 1996 Summer Olympics Games and the timing couldn’t have been better. We were so proud.
Leon’s team of athletes were playing basketball in Belgium, Italy, and Paris, in compeition with similar age groups and some European professionals. They won the bronze medal.
This also gave Leon great exposure of what the next level would demand of hima thletically.Leon returned home and had important decisions to make regarding the buffet of options from univeristies he had worked so hard to receive. Possible baksetball scholarships and academic offerings from my alma mater, the University of Miami, Leon’s father’s alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, and West Point Military academy. We also had no idea that when returning home, Leon would be given the honor of escorting the Olympic Torch Bearer for Broward County. Leon was paired with the Olympic Torch carrier who lit the last remaining torch before it was carried to Atlanta, Georgia for the final lighting of the Olympic Torch Ceremony by Muhammad Ali to start the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
One week after this memorable event, I was struck by another drunk driver and suffered a very serious cervical whiplash, causing severe vertigo, and was not able to drive or function as a paren.
Right before the second accident, Leon had visited our family chiropractor, who always played a very important role in our family’s healthcare. A specific type of chiropractic protocol was the sole reason for my oveall recovery fom the first accident mentioned in my story. I remembe Leon being so excied and anxious to go get this adjustment as soon as he returned home fom that Olympic tournament tour. While he was overseas palying basketball, every time Leon and I spoke he would anxiously express how his entire body needed an adjustment from the travel and the sports. From his neck to his feet, as athletically involved as Leon was, his understanding and awareness of food and the chiropractic care he got really helped him keep his pace, both mentally and physically. There was no stopping him.
At this time, our family would need Leon’s extra strength. My third child, Max, was four years of age and Zev’s Leon’s younger brother, was finishing middle school and looking forward to attending the same school.
It was a blessing in disguise how Leon’s role would influence the entire family in a positive way.