A feature segment that played on CBS TV in Philadelphia. We're hoping telling Chris' story will help others. http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/07/07/health/
It started 5 years ago with a slight twitch of the third finger of his left hand. Now, my brother Chris who was a healthy, active, college educated young man with his whole life ahead of him, is totally disabled, needing help with even the smallest of daily tasks. He cannot walk, eat, bathe or dress himself. He cannot speak, which is the most frustrating of all of his symptoms as trying to communicate even the most basic of thoughts is extremely difficult. Some days are worse than others and the fight that has gone on for so long, is just too much to handle. Chris saw 16 doctors over 5 years and none offered any answers or effective treatment plans. Some doctors said maybe Parkinson's Disease was the cause while others simply said they had no idea. One doctor went as far as to say Chris is a young man and he will just have to learn to live with it!
Since we were not about to simply give up the fight and let Chris continue to fade and worsen and accept, as these many doctors had done so easily, their notion that we would never know the cause for Chris' problems, we continued to search for answers and for a cure. Then, Just 7 months ago, with some Internet searching, some help from a couple of generous Lyme Disease Saavy volunteers and some extensive testing, Lyme Disease and some of its co-infections like Babesia and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever turned out to be the culprits. Finally after all this time we had answers. With this information, Chris went to another 3 doctors, Chronic Lyme specialists, who were unable to come up with an effective treatment. Initial improvements he had seen faded away and it was obvious there were more missing pieces of this complicated medical puzzle.
Then in early January, we were lucky to have gotten an appointment with one of the country's top Lyme Disease Doctors. This doctor performed a battery of tests, which showed some additional co-infections and other miscellaneous infections that have prevented previous treatment protocols from being effective. With these new results we have a much more complete medical picture and a renewed hope that now, after all this time, we are on the right path to an effective treatment plan for Chris who has suffered far too long with something that should have been diagnosed, treated properly and corrected long ago.
This medical journey for Chris, searching for answers and a cure, has taken such a toll on all of us physically, emotionally and financially. Since his insurance company, like many of them today, does not pay for many of the Chronic Lyme Disease related medical expenses, treatment has been an enormous financial burden. Compounding the problem is that our parents have only been able to work part-time jobs so that they can care for Chris' needs. Just to give you an idea of these ongoing expenses, last year Chris' out of pocket medical expenses exceeded $15,000 and this year, that amount will likely double.
It is however, money well spent as we strongly believe we are now on the right path for a return to health for Chris. It will be another long and costly road to travel but a road we travel eagerly, with enthusiasm and with the hope that this doctor will give Chris back his health and his life.
Thank you so much for reading our story and in considering being a part of our family's fight for Chris' health with a donation to his medical fund.
Posted by Lauren Valerio
Posted by Lauren Valerio
has supported Chris and our effort in helping him return to health. Without your generous donations throughout the year, we would not have been able to explore the many medical treatment plans that Chris has tried. Some of the things Chris has tried have brought a slight improvement while others have not. But this process has allowed us to rule out many medical options and has helped us narrow down and explore many of the Lyme and Co-infection options that exist. Chris' fund raised $28,000 in 2014 and a little over that was spent on his medical care during the year.
With the new year comes a new hope that 2015 will be the year that we see substantial improvements in Chris.
Recent tests show that many of his infection levels and toxins, like heavy metals and mold, have started to come down and some of the newer meds he is trying to improve and mend his nervous system and further reduce infection levels, we are hopeful, will continue to improve Chris.
We are dedicated and totally committed to continuing an aggressive approach to treatments for Chris. Although it is easy for us to get frustrated in the length of time it is taking to return Chris to health, we are determined to succeed and help him get his life back.
The return to health for Chris is a marathon, not a sprint and we know we are so very close to succeeding. But again this year we will need the help of our very generous friends and supporters to succeed. We fully expect Chris' out of pocket medical expenses for 2015 to match if not exceed that of 2014 as we discuss with his doctors the possible treatment plans for this year.
We hope that this site helps us raise these much needed funds and hope that very soon we will be able to post very substantial results to show everyone the success that we have all hoped, prayed and worked for during these past few years.
Again, thank you all so very much for your help!
Posted by Lauren Valerio
How do we find out about tickets?
I too have RMSF and know some of the pain he is going through. This is my second round of RMSF which almost killed me when I was 9. I am at the point now I am going through the testing to see what other tick borne illness I may have. I am hoping some of these doctors will find a treatment that helps me use my hands and feet properly not to mention get rid of the some pain. Some days I can't talk very well or even think straight. I can so understand his frustration and deal with it daily. Even tho my family and I are going through the same medical expenses I want to try to help. I have never felt so frustrated and helpless in my life so I can only imagine what my family must feel. Much love to you and your family!
It is wonderful to hear that your family has been able to start a new treatment plan. I have Chronic Lyme Disease as well and know very well how swift and devastating it can be. Last year I was often unable to walk or talk, and also required assistance. You may be interested in researching heavy metal detoxing, as well as the chromosomal tests from Genova Diagnostics: http://www.gdx.net/product/10110. One of these tests may help you find an underlying issue as to why the Lyme has taken over. Some people are unable to detox on their own, or have various other chromosomal abnormalities that make this fight harder on them. I hope this helps you on your journey.
Dr Horowitz is an amazing man and his staff is wonderful! I have been seeing him and his support staff for 1 year now and believe I am in the best hands possible! I am so glad your family found him. Your story shows amazing dedication to what family means. I'm glad you have that. let Chris know that I too, suffering from Lyme and Babesia along with environmental toxins. Before seeing Dr H. I was unable to get out of bed and now have seen much improvement. There is hope my friend! We, your fellow Lyme sufferers are praying for you and fighting the fight to get better testing and treatment plans. You are in the best hands with Dr. H. All the best and keep us posted on how Chris is doing with the treatment. Warmly, Your new Lyme friend from NY. Marc
Bless you and your family. I have chronic lyme disease also. I'm using a zapper, a bit like a rife machine (also good I'm told) and calcium bentonite clay for detoxification. This removes heavy metals, moulds and toxins from the body when taken with water internally. I think these can be used in conjunction with other treatment plans, but research first. They're fairly inexpensive, too.
Please look into FECO, full-extract cannabis oil, as a treatment for Chris. There is a group on Facebook called Cannabis Oil Success Stories.
We are so greatful for this generous show of support for Chris. He has started on his new treatment plan and although it's too early to see real results yet, we remain hopeful that this new doctor will return him to health. Because a more realistic expense for the year will be more than $40,000, we are upping our goal to $20,000. Thank you again for your continued support!
Thank you so much to everyone who donated so far! Your love, prayers and support are helping us all get through this tough time. Please continue to share to get the word out about Chronic Lyme and to help Chris get his life back!