Denise Ryan Lyme Disease Fund

€157,300 of €165,000 goal

Raised by 850 people in 22 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
This page is now closed to donations, if you would like to donate please visit:  www.gofundme.com/10000tenners2 . Thank you! 


'We are very, very small, but we are profoundly capable of very, very big things'. - Stephen Hawking


About me - My name is Denise Ryan, I'm 33 years old. I'm not a wife or a mother, I don't have a career. I can't do the normal social things that people do like going for dinner or drinks, or taking new classes or trips. While life is definitely not what I wished it would be, fundraising to go alone half way across the world for medical treatment has made me a stronger person. So while I would of course much, much rather be doing any of the things we all want out of life, I am at least prouder of myself now than I have ever been.

A donor sent me a message a while back saying he had been meaning to get in touch for a long time, but hadn't known what to say other than 'keep going', but that saying that would be like 'telling the Olympic runner Usain Bolt, to keep running'. That comment has really meant a lot to me and I think about it often, because you can't go through something like this without perseverance.

I suffer from a very aggressive and advanced stage of Lyme disease, lifelong gastrointestinal and immune system dysfunction. I need to raise €100,000 to go to Seattle for 10 months of specialist treatment as soon as possible, without it my prognosis is terminal.

Updated: I had to raise the goal so that I can afford to continue my medications and to hopefully go back to Seattle for surgery with my amazing gastroenterologist at the University of Washington Hospital. My entire digestive system is severely damaged from multiple infections and having been sick for so long, that I really need surgery as soon as possible. If my muscle and bone continue to degenerate from malnutrition caused by malabsorption, I won't be able to fight this. This is a huge opportunity for me to go to one of the best hospitals in the U.S., I have to try to get there and hopefully they can do something that will save my life.




How I contracted Lyme disease -

I moved to Toronto for work in 2009, I stayed for 4 years and made great friends and memories. I also had many bug bites including a tick bite, but I had never even heard the word 'Lyme' then.

I spent the last two years of my Canadian adventure going to doctors and consultants, as my health kept going downhill. I had to come home to Ireland because my illness was getting out of control. I was heartbroken because I'd just been accepted into college in Toronto and was so excited to go there. Instead I spent the next year back in Ireland going to more doctors and hospitals searching for answers, searching for help.

In June 2014, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. But by that time the infection was very widespread. My GP in Ireland sent my blood to an accredited specialist lab in Germany where I tested positive, which was confirmed again by an Infectious Disease Consultant in Dublin. My blood tests also showed multiple other serious bacterial and viral infections.

How my case became so severe -

As I went so long without a diagnosis and without treatment, and have debilitating gastrointestinal problems caused by the infections, along with a family history of autoimmunity, things have progressed to a life threatening state. I have severe  gastroparesis, arthritis, severe osteoporosis, exhaustion and muscle wasting. I've also developed neurological symptoms as the Lyme bacteria has spread to my central nervous system. Without being able to absorb proper nutrition, my immune system can't fight the disease and my body can't rebuild itself.




Why the U.S. -

After seeing countless doctors, specialists and consultants all over Ireland, the UK and Canada, I found hope. That hope resides in Seattle, where I spent 3 months last year getting treatment after raising enough funds to go. Finally, I found medical doctors who specialize in my particular infections and a gastroenterolgist at the Univeristy of Washington Hospital who specializes in my gut problems. As I contracted Lyme disease in North America, they have much greater knowledge, experience and understanding of the lifecycles of the bacteria. They know which medications to use and when, to treat the infections and avoid bacterial resistance to the antibiotics. The U.S. hospitals also have much more extensive diagnostics and treatment/surgical options for gastrointestinal diseases.



What the treatment will be -

Due to the severity of my case, I need to return for 10 months of intensive treatment.

This would involve :

- IV antibiotics for the multiple infections, to bypass my debilitated gut. 

- IV nutrients to help build my immune system and stop my body so rapidly degenerating.

- Extensive bloodwork for infections and organ function, medical testing at local labs and hospitals + constant supervision.

- Appointments with specialists at the University of Washington Hospital and Puget Sound Gastroenterology - Including two gastronenterologists (one is a motility specialist, the other is a mast cell disorder specialist), an endocrinologist for my infertility and bone density issues, an ENT doctor (ear, nose, throat) for the recurrent localized infections I have on top of the systemic infections

- Physiotherapy to help keep my muscles and joints moving because I can't move much physically myself.

- Surgery(s) to try to rectify some of the damage done to my digestive tract and hopefully help me be able to eat again. 

I'm currently fed through an NJ tube, which is a feeding tube that goes through my nose and into my small intestine because I can't eat due to the severe damage that the infections have caused my digestive system. 





My hope for the future and how you can help -

It's a huge mountain to overcome, but I'm determined to get through this no matter how hard it is.

I want so much to be able to have a job and spend time with the people I care about. To have some independence and some quality of life. To replace the vomiting, pain, inflammation, palsy and tremors, with being healthy, happy, and making plans to look forward to. It would be really nice to be able to eat again! 

But -

Time is rapidly running out for me. So every donation however small is a tremendous help! All funds raised go towards my urgent medical treatment.

Looking at it like needing 10,000 tenners (€10/$10/£10) makes it seem a little more possible!

You can also donate directly to -
Denise Ryan Lyme Fund
BIC: BOFIIE2D
IBAN: IE03BOFI90109589132842


From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much,

Denise x
+ Read More
Congratulations to Amanda Shevlin, Joanne Taaffe, Anna Vickers and Nancy Horan who've won the prizes! Thank you so much to everyone who donated, I can pay off the last of my hospital bills in Seattle now and will be officially debt free with them :)

I'll update again soon when I know what's happening with my cancer surgery, still not sure yet when exactly it will be because we still haven't come to a conclusion about what to do about the anesthesia problems which is really frustrating!

Thank you all so much, Denise x

Note: To subscribe to the newer page without donating you just need to click the grey heart at the top right of the main image on the new gofundme.com/10000tenners2 page, or if you're able to donate you can skip the GoFundMe tip by choosing "Other" and typing in "€0"
+ Read More
Surgery Update -

Hey everyone! Just a mini update - I was due to have the surgery this morning to have the basal cell skin cancer removed from my stomach area but since the cellulitis is back on my leg - though much, much milder than the first time - the surgeon has decided to postpone surgery until the first week of September to give my body a chance to fight the infection.

He had also given me a tube of the numbing/anesthetic cream to try in case I was allergic to it or it didn't work, I tried it the other evening and it didn't work at all. I offered to do the surgery with no anesthetic but he wouldn't do it, I know it would be awful but the local anesthetic doesn't work and I really just want the cancer gone. He still said he really doesn't want to do general anesthetic though because with my health issues he said I'm a higher risk for being one of the people who goes under general anesthetic and doesn't wake up. So we're not sure what's happening with that too and will have to figure something out over the next 3 weeks until the surgery time comes around again.

Thank you so much for all your support and to everyone who donated to Fiver Friday last week, thanks to your generosity there's just €260 to go now until I can fully pay back the hospital which will be one less big thing for me to worry about!

Denise x

Note: To subscribe to the newer page without donating you just need to click the grey heart at the top right of the main image on the new gofundme.com/10000tenners2 page, or if you're able to donate you can skip the GoFundMe tip by choosing "Other" and typing in "€0"
+ Read More
Fiver Friday No.6, hospital debt + skin cancer update

Hey everyone, today is fiver Friday no. 6! Thank you so much to every single person who donates to these, I have another $1,000 to raise to be able to pay the hospital back fully from my trip to Seattle last month so every fiver is a huge help!

I saw the surgeon last week who was the consultant for my leg burn, he said since I'm allergic to the chemo for basal cell skin cancer that he will surgically remove it. So I'll be going into hospital this day next week to have the surgery. I'm really nervous about it and I'm worried about the anaesthesia, you're usually awake for it and they use local anaesthetic but for some reason local anaesthetic doesn't really work on me and makes me sick, which can sometimes happen in people with autoimmune illnesses. But the surgeon is concerned that since I have so many health issues that putting me under general anaesthetic would be riskier than usual, so we're going to see what happens next Friday and really hope that everything goes ok!

Since a few days ago though I have a rash on my leg again where I had the burn/cellulitis, so I'm back on antibiotics to try to get ahead of it so that it doesn't progress into full blown cellulitis again. My immune system has been even more dysfunctional than usual since I got it the first time so the doctor is going to keep me on antibiotics for a while until things hopefully calm down a bit, especially since I really need to be able to do the skin cancer surgery next week.

Thank you all so much, I'll update again next weekend to let you know how it went, keep your fingers crossed for me!

Denise xx

Note: To subscribe to the newer page without donating you just need to click the grey heart at the top right of the main image on the new gofundme.com/10000tenners2 page, or if you're able to donate you can skip the GoFundMe tip by choosing "Other" and typing in "€0".
+ Read More
Congratulations to the winners! Katie Corrigan you've won the tandem skydive, Ruta Makaraite and Katie Noonan you've won the skincare/makeup gift sets! I'll contact you for your addresses and get them sent out to you asap. Thank you so much to everyone who donated, your support keeps me going, Denise xx

Note: To subscribe to the newer page without donating you just need to click the grey heart at the top right of the main image on the new gofundme.com/10000tenners2 page, or if you're able to donate you can skip the GoFundMe tip by choosing "Other" and typing in "€0".
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Eva Greene
21 months ago
3
3

Hey Denise, I have you down for monthly from now on. Good luck..

+ Read More
Eva Greene
18 months ago
1
1

I wish I could do more for you.. I kinda know about being lost being sick in Ireland. Will double my monthly amount. I so wish you get better at some point

+ Read More
Christine Cronin
19 months ago
1
1

Amazed at what u get through. Weekly donation on the way.

+ Read More
Sinéad Nic Gearailt
21 months ago
1
1

Hey Denise, put me down for monthly.

+ Read More
Jack Kavanagh
17 months ago

You are a champ as always. :)

+ Read More
Sonja
17 months ago

wish you just the best for your recovery

+ Read More
Sharron May Powers
20 months ago

Vulnerability is courage! Never be embarrassed about that!

+ Read More
Dee
10 days ago

Hi Denise, I'm not sure if your surgeon would go for this, but there have been successful clinical trials in the UK for use of hypnosis for pain management for chronic pain but it has been used also instead of anesthetic by hypnotists themselves. Might be worth looking into... https://www.facebook.com/dublinhypnosisclinic/posts/im-getting-a-root-canal-treatment-done-tomorrow-without-anaesthetic-i-will-be-us/3198018500212148/

+ Read More
Faye
3 months ago

Happy belated birthday wishes to you .... x

+ Read More
Natalie
3 months ago

You should send this on to the Head of the HSE and to Simon Harris. No one should be treated like you were.

+ Read More
Rebecca
13 months ago

Denise, I will put you on my prayer list...Prayer is powerful. I’m a Lymie too...Neuro-Borriliosis

+ Read More
Faye Edmonds
15 months ago

Happy Birthday to you!!! I hope you get spoilt by all your loved ones on this special day... Birthday hug coming your way, from Faye x

+ Read More
Anna Riemersma
20 months ago

Yes, a Christmas Card! Thanks Denise!

+ Read More

€157,300 of €165,000 goal

Raised by 850 people in 22 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created September 29, 2017
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
€30
Anonymous
13 months ago
1
1
NH
€50
NANCY HORAN
13 months ago

Hope jet lag better Denise and that you are feeling more optimistic.

ÁK
€25
Áine Kirrane
13 months ago

You are so courageous always.

NW
€5
Neil Wallace
13 months ago
€5
Anonymous
13 months ago
LR
€5
Loreana Rushe
13 months ago
€250
Anonymous
13 months ago
€70
Anonymous
13 months ago
AE
€40
Amanda Egan
13 months ago
€10
Anonymous
13 months ago
Eva Greene
21 months ago
3
3

Hey Denise, I have you down for monthly from now on. Good luck..

+ Read More
Eva Greene
18 months ago
1
1

I wish I could do more for you.. I kinda know about being lost being sick in Ireland. Will double my monthly amount. I so wish you get better at some point

+ Read More
Christine Cronin
19 months ago
1
1

Amazed at what u get through. Weekly donation on the way.

+ Read More
Sinéad Nic Gearailt
21 months ago
1
1

Hey Denise, put me down for monthly.

+ Read More
Jack Kavanagh
17 months ago

You are a champ as always. :)

+ Read More
Sonja
17 months ago

wish you just the best for your recovery

+ Read More
Sharron May Powers
20 months ago

Vulnerability is courage! Never be embarrassed about that!

+ Read More
Dee
10 days ago

Hi Denise, I'm not sure if your surgeon would go for this, but there have been successful clinical trials in the UK for use of hypnosis for pain management for chronic pain but it has been used also instead of anesthetic by hypnotists themselves. Might be worth looking into... https://www.facebook.com/dublinhypnosisclinic/posts/im-getting-a-root-canal-treatment-done-tomorrow-without-anaesthetic-i-will-be-us/3198018500212148/

+ Read More
Faye
3 months ago

Happy belated birthday wishes to you .... x

+ Read More
Natalie
3 months ago

You should send this on to the Head of the HSE and to Simon Harris. No one should be treated like you were.

+ Read More
Rebecca
13 months ago

Denise, I will put you on my prayer list...Prayer is powerful. I’m a Lymie too...Neuro-Borriliosis

+ Read More
Faye Edmonds
15 months ago

Happy Birthday to you!!! I hope you get spoilt by all your loved ones on this special day... Birthday hug coming your way, from Faye x

+ Read More
Anna Riemersma
20 months ago

Yes, a Christmas Card! Thanks Denise!

+ Read More
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a €5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.