Lyme And PTSD

$1,625 of $1,625 goal

Raised by 44 people in 22 months
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I have been unemployed since I developed Lyme Disease for the fourth time last April (2016). I have had two more positive tests since then. I was bit by a tick in 2009. My initial 90 course of antibiotics was not successful in killing the Lyme bacteria (once again).

I have worked as a professional landscaper on Martha's Vineyard, Ma for ten years and have been exposed repeatedly to ticks that carry Lyme disease. I also suffer from Ulcerative Colitis and pancreatitis and that makes it very difficult to treat the Lyme with antibiotics, because they trigger these issues.

(Update May 2017: since writing this I have found an infectious disease doctor and am on antibiotics currently that do not affect my autoimmune issues). I currently have what is considered post treatment Lyme, which means the traditional approach of antibiotics did not work. 

Supplements and alternative remedies and treatments, (though proven helpful for Lyme) are expensive and as I am out of work I am unable to afford them and my health insurance does not cover them. I spend most of my time resting in bed as I am in a lot of pain both in my muscles, joints, head, neck, back, knees, etc.  I have severe repetitive migraines which cause me to throw up from the pain and vertigo.

Lyme has entered my brain. I struggle remembering things and have trouble concentrating. I am currently in speech therapy for treatment with this. I cannot stand for long periods of time. I cannot use my body in any way that strains as it causes tremendous muscle cramping which is very painful. I cannot eat many things and this makes developing a meal plan very difficult as I am on a budget from foodstamps.  I also have severe allergies, in combination with the Lyme and inflammatory diseases and have to take allergy medicine everyday to keep my sinuses from becoming so inflamed they cause vertigo. Lyme affects mast cells which affect the allergic response. 

Due to these problems I have not been able to work.  I have applied for disability and am waiting to hear back from them. I live on Martha's Vineyard which is an Island and getting treatment off Island is very financially difficult. 

The boat is $15 round trip for one person, and for a car is $90. I am currently unable to pay for any of my bills including my phone. I do not have a car. As I am rebuilding my life from previous situations that include divorce, I do not have savings. I wanted very much to work and build myself up out of financial and life hardship, but I became very ill and found it impossible to do so. 

What I have managed to do while lying in bed is write a poetry book. It is 140 pages currently and I am still working on it.

I have devoted myself to healing my body, mind, and spirit. My body is just a little behind on the journey and still needs some help. 

This campaign help me pay for expensive medical supplements and treatments, and help with travel to the Spalding clinic outside of Boston. 

I have decided to include my health struggles with my publishing the book as they are a cocreation! Had I not gotten sick I would not have started writing poetry again.  I am also very highly motivated and in addition to asking for monetary assistance with my health I would like to offer something in return! 

From the intro to my Book:
"What started as a book of poems became a quest of self discovery. Contained within is a series of poems and journal entries. 'It starts when l left a violent relationship and in the process lost everything, but gained a heart broken open by Love.'
-Angel Marie Russell

I know I can beat lyme, poverty, and PTSD. I know I can get back on my feet. I believe in myself. Can you help me to get there?


Thank you so much for reading this far and helping me on this journey. Sometimes the first step is admitting one needs help. Well, I'm asking from the bottom of my humble heart , please help if you are called. 

So much gratitude and love,
Angel Marie Russell


Martha's Vineyard, Ma
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Well, here we are day 90 of my antibiotic Lyme treatment. I tried the antibiotic route with. Y Lyme because of a myriad of complications within my body and the natural remedies and methods over the last 8 years being ineffective. I still have symptoms. I am now testing negative. Within this system of CDC mandates and insurance companies fighting post treatment Lyme cases as "not possible." It's possible I may not receive any more care, or I will be out on antibiotic IV's.

I have been fighting Lyme since 2008. I absolutely do not want to take antibiotics and I know there is a slew of alternative treatments. I have tried many of them and have changed my diet to some effect, but the symptoms from Lyme remain. I have the body of a 35 year old with physical ailments akin to someone in their 80's with the full blown muscle and joint pain, and brain degeneration.

In the process of fighting this illness I have discovered three gene mutations, immune system complications, and more. Chronic illness is a journey and one we don't want to take as humans. It's a path I'm still on. I go to the infectious disease specialist I see in two weeks. I am unsure of what course to take now.

I have started to tick recovery programs in addition to CBD oil and my symptoms have lessened but I am still really sick and in crises. I am still waiting for my aid applications to go through and finally have case workers helping me and a stable place to live. I still need help buying with the supplements that been helping me and keeping my phone on which is critical for aid and doctors to reach me. Please consider helping me if you are able. My fight isn't over yet.
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Update: I am still in the process of finding housing. I will post the minute I find out where I will be going June 1st. I have applications for aid still pending with the SSI and DTA (a Mass State agency).

My doctor has told me he thinks it will take me an additional year of treatment before I am well.

I have cognitive affects of Lyme disease and require two visits each week with a speech therapist to learn how to deal with the deficits lyme has caused in my brain. I have decreased short-term memory and difficulty with my ability to concentrate in addition to speech problems. I require a MRI and a nueropsych evaluation but with my insurance there is a 6 month waiting list just to make an appointment.

Some of my other symptoms, to give you an idea, include body wide migratory severe muscular pain and cramping, stiffness and pain in all the major joints including my spine, migraines, brain fog, memory and speech issues and constant extreme exhaustion. Lyme has affectively stolen my life. My ability to function in even the most basic of ways and even cooking for myself are impaired by this infection.

I was bit by a tick in 2009 and my symptoms have worsened every year. Natural remedies and approaches were not fully affective for me due to an abnormality in my MTHFR gene, and autoimmune issues.

This fundraiser is the only income I have had since I started it. It is the only way I have to survive currently. Please consider helping me.
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Please don't leave me here
In the puddled remains
After the dam broke
And everything I held in
For so long came rushing
Quickly out.

Please don't judge me harshly
For a life that ate pieces of me;
More than it gave,
Ripped me apart faster than,
I could heal, runaway, or be saved.

Please don't confuse my disease
With malcontent, because truly,
There are reasons
For all that ails me.
And everyday I'm healing
Everyday I use my
Claws, teeth, and determination
To rise,
And I do.

But being human,
As I am sure you know,
There's a max capacity,
To everyone's emotional dam
And mine has been crumbling
For years now.

And I know the state of burden
More than carer.
I know the state of rejection
More than marriage.
I know the state of deflection,
Denial, and dismissal,
More than wishes, homes,
Soft beds, or saviors that come
When whistled.

I know the murky
depths of despair
Like I know the hair
On my very own head.
And I know what it is
To battle that,
Determined to carry through
and on.
And every time
I do.

And I know too,
How to find love,
When everywhere I looked,
I could just find none.
I found it triumphant
And with it my worth too.

So, please don't confuse my
continued lamentation
To mean once again
I am used up, useless, or
Frustrating.
Because yea,
I can tell it's there in
Some of you.

Yet, even that
Will not cause me
To quit.
I will never give in.
I will never submit.
And you will not find me
With my head down
One more day.
You will not find my heart
Left alone.
And if I am the only one left
To hold my tiny beating friend,
Well there I'll be,
Holding my tiny heart home.
Picked up from the puddle,
Dried and cleaned up.
Polished even, until
Ready to soar once again.

-Angel Marie Russell

Please consider helping me. ❤️
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I currently have two weeks to be out of the place I am staying and have no plan for where I am going to live. I am working with a speech therapist who is helping me fill out paperwork to apply for state aid. I have been on a waiting list for a social worker for months now. State aid if you're homeless is only $95 a month. Not a lot of help. There are no shelters on the island where I live. I am also currently working with the local woman's aid group. They were able to give me some grocery store gift cards but that's it.

There isn't any aid on the Island where I live to support the homeless. I cannot live in a shelter off island because they will not accept dogs. My dogs are emotional support dogs but I cannot afford the license as it is $80. So, the shelters cannot accept us. If I leave the island now I loose the doctors I have been working with for a year to treat my Lyme.

As a last resort my friend had the idea of trying to save up money to buy a van. I can at least live in a van. At this point I have called the people in my area but have not found anything. My family cannot care for me at this time. I am afraid to stay past my welcome where I am as they are having guests soon and the transitional nature of this situation and my illness are causing me to have daily anxiety. I am seeing a counselor twice a week.

I am in dire need. I find out if I get disability on the 23rd but then I only have a week to move.
And with my illness I can barely move without a lot of pain. With disability it is never a guarantee.

Please help if you can.
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$1,625 of $1,625 goal

Raised by 44 people in 22 months
Created January 12, 2017
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$10
Anonymous
18 months ago
BW
$20
Becky Williams
18 months ago

May abundance and healing flow to you. Share your art with the world

KL
$111
Kirstyn Lazur
19 months ago

You are such a talented artist. I wish one day to collaborate with you!

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