Monica's Medical Fund Against Lyme

$87,295 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 955 people in 27 months
Julia Arbery
on behalf of Monica Arbery
 LANDER, WY
Note: Monica is suffering from Advanced Chronic Lyme. It's a constant battle, and we're fighting the best we can. Since health insurance doesn't cover the most effective Lyme treatment (or really any Lyme treatment at all), we are constantly having to fundraise more. Much has changed since this original post. Please read the latest update for the most recent information!

ORIGINAL POST: 

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.
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For all those who have asked, here is what is going on with me (and I am so sorry I have not written until now!) : I just spent the last several months spending precious time with many of my beautiful and heroic sisters and their families, steadfast and brilliant friends, my fairy Godmother health coach Brenda, and my peaceful joy of a boyfriend, Ben, throughout Texas and Pennsylvania. I got hired at Great Hearts Northern Oaks in San Antonio as an assistant teacher for kindergarten and I am moving down there officially in about a month! I cannot wait to work with those little ones at such a wonderful school with such a thriving community. I am so, so grateful. My health has been very, very good for about 8 or 9 months now. January through March was a bit difficult with a migraine and insomnia that would not dissipate. In large part, I think much of that was because trauma that comes from serious illness. Although I am so much better, it can be so hard to trust that all is well, that I am safe, that God is not deceptive. But all is well, I am safe, and God is not deceptive. I am so thrilled to be right where I am, and I am so excited for the future. I can hardly speak of it all without tears of joy.

I just opened up my journal from last year-- one with a beautiful embroidered peacock on the cover. On this day last year, this all I wrote: “Jesus how I want to die and leave and live.”

Right now I am sitting in my dad’s office chair in Wyoming after getting back on Tuesday night. I have a little sunburn on my arms from my hike with Julia earlier today and from last weekend on the Guadalupe River in Texas. My arms and legs and face are soft from the food and wine I’ve been able to enjoy-- I squeeze my arm and say thank you. My heart is beating slowly, calmly, evenly. Earlier this morning, I saw two yellow butterflies come together in what seemed like a kiss and then drift apart only to come together again, over and over and over. Darla and Earleane, the horses my parents are boarding for the summer, took some carrots from my hands a few minutes ago and trotted off and soon as they got what they wanted. It is so gorgeous here in Lander right now that it is just silly and sublime-- and I realized a few days ago that I have never enjoyed a Wyoming summer in good health until now.

I sat outside last night with a dear friend- the wind was blowing and we covered ourselves in sweaters to protect from the world that had left us sunburned a few hours earlier. We were reflecting on the last several years, and I told him that if you had told me a year ago that I would even live to breathe in this moment- rested, in ease, in love-- my heart likely would have tightened and hurt as it did at the word “hope,” and I would have prayed for you to be quiet, just be quiet. But I am so glad and so thankful for each surprise. I am so grateful for all the ways I was wrong. I am grateful that the pain and truth of hope melted into everything- how it still does, how it always will.

And as I sat there last night I just wondered how I can possibly begin to thank everyone for what they have done for my family and me. For all those who gave knowing they may never get anything back. For all the time, money, prayers. For all the grace and healing that has come from those prayers- continuously, still. Please keep praying. I think we are all so hesitant to say the word “need.” We never want to say that we need another person, that we need each other. But we do. We do need each other. Thank you for letting me need you, and thank you for being God’s hands and feet here on earth.

From my heart, I thank you, and I love you. How I want to live and live and live.

***

The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.
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Dearest Friends and Supporters,

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:

https://www.neshealth.com/

https://inlightmedical.com/light-therapy/

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)

Love,
Monica
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Friends,

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.
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Friends, asking for your continued prayers for Monica. Two nights ago, she had a two hour long unconscious seizure last night and had to be taken again to the hospital by ambulance. With the neurological damage and more frequent convulsions happening, please pray that she gets the medical help she needs in Wyoming. She is fighting, confused, and in pain but at peace with God's deeper and bigger plan in all of this. She's feeling hopeful, but the prayers bring her much needed peace, and she's especially worried about how this affecting her family. We're, of course, just worried about her unending pain. What a cycle of worry. We're just grateful that we have so many wonderful souls on her side as we continue to fight this thing.

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.

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Read a Previous Update
Charlotte Lackney
18 months ago
1
1

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

+ Read More
Maryanne Sockey
11 days ago

Oh wow! You're coming to San Antonio? I just moved there 2 years ago to be with my sister and brother-in-law who work at Great Hearts, too! So glad to hear you are doing so well! You've been in my prayers since I started following and donating! God is good and Bless you!

+ Read More
Dottie Dunnam
6 months ago

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!

+ Read More
Jackie Greenfield
6 months ago

Monica, I am so happy to read your update. Are your parents floating? Much love, dear one.

+ Read More
Annette Yates
14 months ago

I could watch it over and over again. I just want to see YOU. Praying.

+ Read More
Gretchen Mercer
17 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Lidia Fiandeiro
18 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Catherine Alvis
18 months ago

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

+ Read More
Kathi S. McKee
18 months ago

Prayers are flooding heaven for your health, peace and well-being! God loves you to the moon-and back! Keep the faith! Hugs, Kathi

+ Read More
Monica Arbery
18 months ago

Richard, how amazing that we start on the same day! Saint Nicolas, pray for us!

+ Read More
Richard Delahide Ferrier
18 months ago

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

+ Read More
John Kelly
19 months ago

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

+ Read More
Tami Wrye Kozinski
22 months ago

Praise God!! Wow!! So happy dear friend.

+ Read More

$87,295 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 955 people in 27 months
Created March 5, 2016
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$40
Maryanne Sockey
11 days ago

So glad to hear you're doing so well!

$50
Anonymous
7 months ago
MC
$100
Melissa Corcoran
8 months ago

Praying daily for you Monica - asking largely of Our Lord!

CC
$5
Christina Corcoran
8 months ago

I will give more next week after I'm paid!!

Charlotte Lackney
18 months ago
1
1

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

+ Read More
Maryanne Sockey
11 days ago

Oh wow! You're coming to San Antonio? I just moved there 2 years ago to be with my sister and brother-in-law who work at Great Hearts, too! So glad to hear you are doing so well! You've been in my prayers since I started following and donating! God is good and Bless you!

+ Read More
Dottie Dunnam
6 months ago

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!

+ Read More
Jackie Greenfield
6 months ago

Monica, I am so happy to read your update. Are your parents floating? Much love, dear one.

+ Read More
Annette Yates
14 months ago

I could watch it over and over again. I just want to see YOU. Praying.

+ Read More
Gretchen Mercer
17 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Lidia Fiandeiro
18 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Catherine Alvis
18 months ago

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

+ Read More
Kathi S. McKee
18 months ago

Prayers are flooding heaven for your health, peace and well-being! God loves you to the moon-and back! Keep the faith! Hugs, Kathi

+ Read More
Monica Arbery
18 months ago

Richard, how amazing that we start on the same day! Saint Nicolas, pray for us!

+ Read More
Richard Delahide Ferrier
18 months ago

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

+ Read More
John Kelly
19 months ago

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

+ Read More
Tami Wrye Kozinski
22 months ago

Praise God!! Wow!! So happy dear friend.

+ Read More
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