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Life is good. I like that slogan. I even enjoyed saying it to myself while I cut grass on the property that we rented in the country. We didn't have much financially or materialistically, but we loved the Lord our God and we were blessed with two wonderful children, whom we were homeschooling. We were very health-conscious, eating organically, loving the outdoors and nature, and exercising regularly. Our children even participated in a triathlon and I had competed in 5K and 8K runs and 3 triathlons. All this until my foot went mysteriously numb during one of the bike portions of a race. I didn't think much about it until I began to experience more bizarre symptoms and progressively became sicker with each passing day.
A few of the most common repeated symptoms I experienced over a 6 month period were: intense neck pain and cracking, headaches, tingling and numbness in my extremities, burning pain in my feet and head, joint pain in my wrists, knees and ankles, dizziness, face and jaw pressure, tooth pain, crawling sensations in my face and down my spine, forgetfulness, brain fog, difficulty finishing my sentences, difficulty writing and forgetting how to write certain letters, brain vibrations, swirling noises and sensations in my head, auditory hallucinations, feelings of disconnect from my family, increased anxiety, inability to walk at times due to weakness in my legs, loss of bodily hair, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, weight loss and blurred vision.
During the six months of symptoms, I had a brain and neck MRI and a sinus CT scan completed. I saw multiple doctors, Specialists, and top Neurologists in Madison, WI. I was told by all the doctors that there "was nothing physically wrong with me" and that it was more than likely that I was "sleep deprived and my symptoms were all psychological." I was given a prescription for an anti-depressant to help with my "head pressure and vibrations."
To be honest, I was sent home to die, as I got worse everyday. I was my own advocate and researched day and night. I tried to tell doctors I had Lyme Disease but no one would believe me. A top Neurologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison told me "Chronic Lyme Disease has not been scientifically proven and Lyme is not prevalent in Wisconsin, it's mostly on the East coast." All of which was not true! I finally did find a Naturopath doctor who believed me. Through IGeneX labs in California, she tested me and my 9 year old daughter, who was also exhibiting some symptoms (extreme fatigue and tingling/numbing sensations) and who was told by multiple doctors that she just had "allergies." The results were we both had Lyme Disease. We began a round of antibiotics until I could locate a LLMD (Lyme-Literate Medical Doctor) who could take over my care.
In the meantime, it was also recommended that we have our rental home checked for mold. We did and found that there was Stachybotrys mold and other toxic molds in the home. We had to vacate the house immediately. Over the weekend of Thanksgiving 2013, we put our belongings into a storage shed and by the mere grace of God, my parents had a lake cabin near my husband's work, where we were able to stay.
At the end of November 2013, I was able to finally see a LLMD. (He did not treat children, so my daughter continued with antibiotic use via our Naturopath doctor until the end of December 2013, when she appeared improved.) I was put on 5 various oral antibiotics, 2 anti-fungals and a lot of various supplements. I initially improved somewhat, but then got actually sicker on treatment. I began having nausea, vomiting and was unable to eat. I was losing my balance as well and needed a cane to walk. In May 2014, my LLMD told me to stop treatment for a month for my stomach to heal. It was at this time that I realized oral antibiotics were not the answer for me and I began looking out of state for other treatment options The Lord guided us to Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Florida, where I began IV natural (and occasional antibiotic) treatment on June 2, 2014.
Since being here, I have learned that I not only have Lyme Disease, but I also have its co-infections of Bartonella and Babesia, as well as Trichothecene (black mold) toxicity which shuts down your immune system. Upon further testing of our family, it was noted that they all also have Trichothecene toxicity and that Ella and Hayden both have Lyme Disease and Bartonella. Genetic testing showed that Jeff (my spouse), Ella and I do not have the ability to detoxify mold or Lyme toxins. Hayden cannot detoxify mold toxins.
Since Jeff was "functional" and had to return to work, he was not treated at the clinic. Ella and Hayden began IV treatment with me in October 2014.
With any disease and toxicity, once you begin treatment, you get worse before you get better. We have all had good days and bad days. On the good days, there are minimal symptoms, mainly fatigue. On the bad days, there is blurry vision, brain fog, head pressure, nausea, chest and joint pain, difficulty walking, etc. Ella and I have been in/out of wheelchairs due to weakness. I had a cardiac event related to toxin release and a spinal injury , unrelated to treatment. Ella gets daily IV insertions for treatment, Hayden and I both have had PICC lines inserted as our veins were not as good. I am glad to say we are seeing improvements and through it all, our God has been good and is our ROCK, strength and peace!
During our time in treatment, Jeff received a job offer in Oregon. He was able to stay with us for about 2 months last year, but had to leave on November 18, 2014 to begin his new job venture. He is now in Oregon, renting a room in a house, while we remain in treament. It is very hard on all of us, especially the children, as we miss each other greatly! It has been almost 6 months since we have seen him. My parents have been here with us since Jeff left. We are all staying in one hotel room. The kids and I have been living in the hotel for almost a year now.
Although we are getting closer, we are not yet finished with treatment. I have improved about 85%. I do not know how much longer the children or I will have. We do not want to have to end treatment abruptly due to finances, as the treatment IS EFFECTIVE and IS WORKING!! It is just this disease and toxicities are so awful, that it takes time to treat them.
Since getting sick in 2013, we have spent well over $300,000 out of pocket on healthcare treatment since insurance will not pay for Lyme Disease treatment, supplements or any other alternative modalities. Having three of us now in treatment (me for 11 months and my children for 6 months) you can imagine the costs we are enduring. We have now gone through our entire life savings and have no hidden investments available. We do not have a house to sell.
Would you please consider donating to help us so we can properly finish our treatment? My parents are graciously helping us with food and hotel costs, but Jeff and I are asking for your help with our medical expenses, which are not covered by insurance. All donations will go towards our weekly IV treatments (5 days per week), colonic hydrotherapies (2x/week), weekly PICC line dressing changes, medical supplements and/or various lab work.
THANK YOU so much for your consideration! We greatly appreciate any donation and your prayers for our family. God Bless You!!
Jeff, Laurie, Ella and Hayden