Monica's Medical Fund Against Lyme
My name's Will, and my sister Monica has been sick for too long. She's only 24 years old, and she wants to have a life. What she has done with her life so far has been remarkable -- she was a counselor and coordinator at a halfway house for pregnant underpriveleged women in Chicago. This felt like her life's calling -- but she had to leave it for yet another medical emergency in a string of medical emergencies. Over the years, the diagnosis has been hard to pin down: Crohns? Colitis? Endometriosis?At hospitals spanning the USA, there has not been a consensus. It seemingly never ends. Right now, she's bedridden, emaciated, and more than anything, exhausted.
But now there's a surgery that might be able to help: laparoscopic surgery. But in order to get that surgery, she first needs to get more healthy. And in order to get more healthy, she needs to stop stressing about her absurd medical debt.
I'm raising money because she's flat broke, and she has nearly $20,000 in medical debt. With the new surgery coming up, she's at her wit's end about how to pay for this. She has very little energy, and she's just trying to get better. Meanwhile, she's having to worry about debt collectors calling her to receive payment from her hospital stays (weeks & months at a time), radiology, CT scans, X-rays, ER visits, and specialist doctor visits. The hospital stays and radiology cost the most, but all of it is eating at her.
The money will be used to pay off the debt directly and immediately, so that she's no longer hounded by debt collectors and can focus on her health. The rest of the money will be used for her upcoming laparoscopic surgery, which hopefully will provide real answers for her. We need the funds as soon as possible.
This would mean so much to me and to Monica and to our whole family. She's been through so much, and she's still so young. She wants to help people -- it's her greatest wish in life. But first she needs to help herself. And she can't do it alone. Monica is loving, big-hearted, spiritual, and wise beyond her years. If you know her, you know this. If you haven't met her, hopefully you have the chance to meet her soon. She's the best.
Monica and I come from a big family, but we've never been well-off. There's only so much my parents can do, and their health is suffering from the stress and worry over her. We would all be extremely grateful for anything you could give. And perhaps you could also spread the word.
Thank you so much for your time and attention.
This is Monica writing, and I know it has been far too long. I am so sorry! But in this case, no news is very good news! I thank you now more than ever for all of your monetary and spiritual support, which has carried me through so much. It is truly unbelievable. Words fail me and they seem so incredibly insufficient, but here is an update- written with deep and abiding joy, love, and gratitude. I love you all so much.
This summer was a disjointed, terrifying, maddening nightmare. I returned from California in April and, unfortunately, I was worse off than I was before receiving treatment. My body, I think, was just so done fighting and was running out of resources- so it was screaming for life and attention by any means necessary. That’s when the 4 hour daily seizures started, and paralyzing fear and agoraphobia. My personality completely changed and my body tingled constantly with anxiety and panic. When I say I went out of my mind- I really did. I had no idea who I was anymore and could not conceive of a future in which I was not bedridden and in every sort of pain. My mind no longer belonged to me. It was this foreign agent of war that constantly berated me with thoughts I do not wish to recall. But suicide seemed like the reasonable, compassionate choice. Thoughts of how and when I would die completely consumed me. It was not that I had just lost hope for healing- it was much deeper than that, much more sinister, and something I’m not quite sure how to write about. But, whatever hope is- I lost all of it.
And that time is a hazy one- and it is hard to pinpoint any one thing that pulled me out of it. Honestly, I don’t really remember, and that may be a great mercy of God. I remember my brother flying out to be with me, and we watched so many movies. We both cried at the closing dream in Raising Arizona. I had friends who would not leave me-- and who understood, with great grace, when I needed a long time of solitude to remember who I am and who God is. I went to a homeopathic practitioner whose whole family had had Lyme disease and were all healed- and she was so unfazed by my wildly depressed mind because she had been there before, and knew that it gets better. It gets better. An unlikely friend held my hand and read my favorite poem to me, and I knew something had been returned to me- some mysterious and very real gift of life. I sat outside and read Faulkner. I ate my favorite cheeseburger. I saw the total eclipse of the sun with my Dad, and we both cried. I felt small and big and loved.
Then in August, a family friend came to visit and encouraged me to work with another family friend who had healed her years before. I have no idea what made me say yes, but I did. And then everything changed very quickly and very deeply. With the guidance and support of this dear, beautiful health coach and healer, I started very gentle treatments in light therapy and Nes Health. You can read more about both here:
I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever thought I would get better. But as soon as I put the lights on my body in August, I felt a shift. My brain fog started clearing, my memory got so much better, my anxiety and depression ceased- and I am in absolutely no pain. No pain! And I just returned from a trip from Texas and Washington- visiting friends and my beloved and our families and furthering this wonderful treatment. It was a trip of such celebration and love. The change has been so dramatic and drastic that I really am at a loss for words. You would never know that I had been so sick. I cannot believe my good fortune that when I had really given up, the perfect people and the perfect treatment came to me and saved my life. It is an immeasurable blessing, the biggest blessing- and I hope, hope, hope that this reaches someone who may be sick with Lyme or some other chronic illness and that this helps you. I KNEW I would either die or be stuck in bed for the rest of my life, and I was so wrong. And that is the best: to think that pain is final and has the last word, and then to be surprised and struck down by healing and elation.
I am healing so well and my body is so strong that I am looking to start work again soon- I cannot believe it!!!! It is such a gift to think about what I would like to do again, and I ask for your continued prayers as I make this transition back into the world. I have a little surgery later this month to get my port removed (!) and then I expect some new and exciting changes in the new year.
I remember a pregnant resident at Heather’s House in Chicago saying, “God lets you dig your own grave and then He takes one hand and pulls you out.” And I remember the words of Saint Teresa of Avila: “God had no hands on this earth but yours.” Thank you for being God’s hands, even when you have not known it. You have made this a story of triumph. Pain is so real, and it is so necessary- but we can often entomb ourselves in our pain and be terrified to come out. We cannot persevere in pain alone, nor can we begin again alone, and you all have shown me how deeply true that is. And I thank you for rejoicing with me now.
Every tiny thing feels like such a victory because it is. Every tiny thing is charged with so much because I have gotten to this ordinary and gorgeous moment from the sacrifices and prayers and love of all of you. I pray that you know how very true that is.
I love you, and I thank God for you.
“Wait for God, cling to God and wait for him; at the end of it, thy life shall blossom anew.” (Sirach 2)
It's been a while, and we wanted to send along an update on Monica's progress. It has been a hard summer but the seizures have stopped. She's started a new homeopathic treatment that is expensive and difficult but which we believe is working slowly. She also may have to travel in the near future for treatment outside of Wyoming and Colorado. It's amazing that traveling is even on the table, though there's still a long road to recovery ahead!
Monica wanted to tell you that she's feeling so much love and gratitude. We ask for your prayers, and, if possible, that you spread the word about this campaign. We anticipate a lot more costs in the year ahead. But we're feeling so much hope.
As always, we'd be so grateful if you passed this campaign along to anyone who might be willing to help. Even though we've raised so much money, it's amazing how quickly it evaporates as we battle this under-insured, under-exposed illness.
Hope you're having a wonderful Spring. Thank you so much.
Now, once again, we ask for your prayers. I have been experiencing paralysis more than I ever have, and last evening (Divine Mercy Sunday) it culminated in a very terrifying way as I had some sort of epileptic fit for several hours. I do not remember everything that happened, but what began as being unable to move my body developed into intensely painful convulsions, especially on my right side, and I lost the ability to speak. Thankfully, my dear friend was with me and I got to the hospital by ambulance. Much of it is a blur, but I remember feeling very terrified and praying that I would be able to speak again and praying for peace for my family and friends. My parents’ flight landed from New York while I was in the ER and they came straight to the hospital. The ER doctor knows my parents (tiny town), and he was wonderful- and he said that these episodes of paralysis and this seizure could be the beginnings of epilepsy and that I need to work more with my neurologist to figure that out- but it is also, unfortunately, symptomatic of the most advanced stages of Lyme disease.
And so we ask for your prayers. My treatment in California was so good, but it is difficult for all of us that I am in one of the lowest valleys I have ever been in after having had intensive treatment for many months. But this reality gives us a drive to fight and to pursue other options and do the next right thing. I am so thankful for all of our dear friends who have suffered with Lyme as well, who are leading us in what feels like a walk in the pitch dark.
I love all of you, and I am so very grateful for what you have done and all that you do. Please pray for the chronically ill. Please pray for those with this disease and join us in raising awareness for it. Please pray for the dying- especially those who do not have anyone to care for them. And please pray for the soul of Kelly Gaffney, who died last week from cancer and whose funeral is today. Kelly suffered so beautifully and loved so well-- she is a bright, bright light still, and in her own incredible pain, she was a selfless joy and force of goodness for me and so many others.
God bless you all, and I love you so much, and I thank God everyday for you.
“Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Jesus, I trust in You.”
All my love,
You may want to watch these informative videos. --CL Episode 1: Autoimmune Disease Revealed, The Shocking Truth About Conventional Medicine, Medication Misuse And Abuse And Is Functional Medicine The Answer? https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bQclmTZuPL4#t=0 Episode 2: The Leaky Gut Problem, Detection And Diagnosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Case Studies Of Gut Disease Reversal https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6r_i6dhJXUM#t=0 Episode 3: The Microbiome and How To Restore The Good Bacteria, Plus Colitis & Gut Disease Success Stories https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TB0dDbGK1ks#t=0 Episode 4: Digestive Diseases, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VUrrlw8Yugo#t=0 Episode 5: Environmental Toxin Triggers & How To Protect Yourself And Your Family from the Onslaught https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XryxrzehtPI#t=0 Episode 6: Autoimmunity and Brain Disorders: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, and Autism https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=53cE3Z_-SmI#t=0 Episode 7: "I Reversed Autoimmune Disease! The Emotional Stories of Those That Overcame Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Lupus, Asthma, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Chronic Fatigue, and More" https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UcIo3D34y_c#t=0
I was wondering what had happened to you, Monica, and am so grateful to get this good word! The purpose of tribulation is the perspective, gratitude, and growth which comes from it. I love you!
Monica, I am so happy to read your update. Are your parents floating? Much love, dear one.
I could watch it over and over again. I just want to see YOU. Praying.
Even in sickness your beauty shines through. We faithfully pray for every single need to be met. Love to you and all who are stepping up to help you, Monica.
Dear Monica, keeping you in prayer. There is a Mass that will be for you today Dec 14 (Memorial of St. John of the Cross) at St. Nicholas in Los Altos. May God bless and hold you in the palm of His Hands.
Monica, I've been reading quite a bit on the life of Flannery O'connor and her published letters written between herself and Our Maker. Instantly, you come to mind. I hope during some respite in your feeling unwell, you get a chance to read some of these beautiful letters so as to feel you have another being having endured great hardship in your journey with Christ, Lifting you up, fellow UD family. Catherine Alvis
Prayers are flooding heaven for your health, peace and well-being! God loves you to the moon-and back! Keep the faith! Hugs, Kathi
Richard, how amazing that we start on the same day! Saint Nicolas, pray for us!
I go in to Cedars Sinai on the 6th. for the pre-op for my kidney transplant scheduled for Dec. 20th. Let's pray for each other as we receive treatment! God bless you! Richard Ferrier
Will, Julia, Monica, Please check out the copay programs for Humira and Remicade. It may not work if the use is off-label, and I'm not certain about the hospital version of the drugs (rather than the ones you inject at home), but if it works out it will be worth many thousands of $. http://www.remicade.com/crohns-disease/co-pay-support https://www.humira.com/humira-complete/cost-and-copay With our prayers, John
Praise God!! Wow!! So happy dear friend.