Help Kat Heal Chronic Lyme Disease!

$13,595 of $14,000 goal

Raised by 166 people in 27 months
This is Kat. I know her as my dearest friend and wife. But I'm not the only person who's life she's profoundly touched. If you've read her blog (HopeHealCook.com ) or been following her on social media (Hope Heal Cook is on InstagramFaceBook  and Twitter ) you know what an inspiration Kat is. 

What you might not know is just how sick she was, or how much she continues to struggle. Kat is battling Chronic Lyme Disease, and although she wasn't properly diagnosed until three years ago, she has likely had the disease since she was a child. Because she grew up experiencing symptoms of illness, it wasn't until they became disabling that she even realized they weren't normal.


By the time Kat was a teenager she was living with intense, body wide pain, chronic fatigue, and bizarre neurological sysmtoms. She saw multiple doctors and was told multiple times that she was mentally ill, and that her relentless pain was basically all in her head.

As a result Kat was put on handfuls of psychotropic medications and found herself in and out of psych wards. She was never tested for Lyme despite having grown up in an area known to have Lyme Disease and having been bitten by multiple ticks, which carry and spread the disease.


When I first met Kat at age 20, she was struggling with the severity of her physical and neurological symptoms. Despite her challenges she was devoted to self improvement and healing, and was active in the mental health community. I knew she was sick. But Kat has always been so much more than her symptoms and diagnoses. She has always been a light, and she has always believed in healing.

When we had been together for a couple of years her health plummited. Within six short months she rapidly deteriorated; after a life of illness her body simply  gave out. My bright, creative, and funny then-finance was suddenly bed ridden, emaciated, overwhelmed by relentless pain, and unable to manage even the most basic of care.


We went to doctor after doctor. We were in and out of emergency rooms at all hours. Not only were we in the dark around what this mysterious and lethal condition was, but also how many days she had left. While our friends were starting careers and families we were fighting for Kat's life, often around the clock. Words cannot describe what a horrifying reality that was...

After countless appointments, testing, misdiagnosis, and various failed treatments, we took a leap of faith and moved to Seattle, Washington in search of better health care. Moving away from all of our family and friends to an unkown city to navigate a care plan for an unknown illness was terrifing, but as always, Kat remained determined and most of all, hopeful. 

Here in Seattle, Kat finally found herself a Dr. that specializes in her mysterious aliment, which we now know to be Chronic Lyme Disease. We finally found our answer. It's Lyme (technically, she has 14 different Lyme related infections through her body and various organs.) They're all treatable. That's the good news.


The bad news is that Chronic Lyme Disease treatments are not covered by any insurance. And it's expensive, averaging $1,200 a month out of pocket. Due to the fact that Kat has been physically disabled for over 10 years as a result of her illness, we're essentially surviving on a single income. 

At long last Kat has hit remission, so thankfully, her medical expenses are currently less than that.  However, after so many years of illness it’ll take a while to fully repair the damage and she’ll need long term supplication to address underlying genetic conditions.

All of the donations we’ve received have helped to make achieving remission possible for Kat but we unfortunately we still accrued $8,000 in medical debt. We are humbly asking for help to pay that down. 

Kat has gone from being bed bound to using a wheel chair to walking on her own, and now she’s able to do yoga.

She's gone from struggling to speak and comprehend basic sentences to being able to articulate her experience in Lyme Awareness interviews like this one for BeKindForLyme.org.

She's gone from having multiple seizures a day and having chronic palsy-like shaking to being able to draw comics in order to bring humor to the chronic illness experience. 


She's gone from being severely underweight and barely able to keep food down to cooking and creating nourishing recipes that she shares with others online.

I wish you knew Kat the way I do. I wish you knew what she's been through, what we've been though. Living in the dark and terrifing wilderness of chronic illness has had it's tramatic ups and downs. But Kat always comes back to a place of hope and determined healing.  She is the strongest, bravest, and most compassionate person I've ever met. 


The financial  stress we'd been under while trying to afford her treatments was unbelievable. It almost broke us; we had to put everything on hold and scramble to put every extra dollar towards Kat’s healing.

In order to continue finally move forward with our lives we need help getting out from under our medical debt.  As I've mentioned, healing Chronic Lyme is expensive and those expensed add up fast, especially following her cavitation surgeries in November.  We simply can't manage this without your help.


Please. Kat gives so much. Check out her blog (HopeHealCook.com ) or follower her on social media (Instagram , FaceBook and Twitter .) You'll see who Kat is: creative, vibrant, funny, and loving. Let her know how much she matters. Let her know that she deserves to finally move on, and enjoy a new life of  health, debt-free. 

Most sincerely,
her husband, Sean
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Hello everyone,
Our trip to Idaho for LymeStop went well. I’d intended to post an update once we got home but, I’ve been completely wiped out the last two weeks. This is actually a good sign. Given how utterly lousy I’ve been feeling I’d say the treatments were successful .

At my appointment I was diagnosed and treated for 3 infections including a viral infection in my bloodstream (source of fatigue) & an other viral infection in my intestines (source of IBS.)

Here’s the super good news though: no EBV & NO LYME. Yaaaaay!!!

Dr Smith had said I’d feel better within a few days of treatments. However, my genetic conditions always complicate recovery so I’ve scheduled an IV for Friday to help my body manage the treatment side effects. Hopefully it will help.

Current prayers: that the treatments are successful and that I’m able to get back on my feet again soon. I meet with my primary Dr next week to assess my progress.

Also, Sean’s taking good care of me as I rest & heal, but he’s worn out too so please send some “prayer juice” his way.

Thanks again everyone. Any donations received will help me cover my upcoming Dr appointment & whatever she prescribes me. I’m looking forward to being done with this chapter & living infection free. Thanks for helping me get there.

Love & blessings, Kat
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Heeeeey folks,
It’s been a long time eh?

Well, for a few months we’d managed to cover my immediate medical costs (although we still have considerable medical debt) so I kinda let the whole crowdfunding thing slide. However, last month all that changed...

At my last appointment with my Lyme Dr I was told that I’d been “under treated” and that my infection levels were back up. I’d started having daily fatigue and symptoms of IBS so I’d known something was up. At that time (a few weeks ago) I tested positive for 3 active infections, but thankfully not Lyme.

Apparently, my “bare bones” protocols, though affordable, weren’t enough to keep me infection free. (Whoops.) Cavitation surgeries are kinda a big deal, and can take 9 months to fully heal. Looking back, I see the wisdom of having maintained a more robust protocol & slowly easing into things post-surgeries. But I was so excited to be feeling better, I basically jumped right into “normie living.”

Sure, it’s easy to critique that now, but honestly, I needed that & I don’t regret it. Even if I ultimately over did it, after years of being home bound and isolated, having the opportunity to finally be active in my church, make new friends & explore my city was unbelievably soul nourishing.

Set backs happen. No guilt, no shame, just love.
I hit remission once; I’ll get there again.

So I’m currently on a new protocol put together by my Dr to treat the infections. I’m also traveling to Idaho next week for another LymeStop treatment. In order to address my digestive issues (Speen Qi Deficiency for those of you familiar with TCM) I’ve also been doing acupuncture twice a week. Aaaand, I’ve started working more closely with my genetic counselor to address my multiple genetic issues.

All in all, these new developments and treatments have once again put me in a place where I am humbly asking for help with my medical costs. Last month my total medical expenses came to $1230 out of pocket (that’s nearly twice the amount of what I receive in disability benefits, so I shudder to think where I’d be with out support from Wonderhubs’ income!)

Also our rent just went up again. So boo on that.

On the upside, my Dr assured me that this is merely a set back while I’m stilling building up my immune system and physical strength. Plus LymeStop has been incredibly effective for me in the past so I feel very hopefully about next week’s treatment.

In order to maintain my current protocols and help cover the cost of my LymeStop trip I need to raise a minimum of $500 this month. On top of the travel and treatment costs (rental car, gas, hotel + $150 for the actual treatment) I usually need at least one IV post LymeStop (about $120 a pop) plus I’ve got another appointment with my primary Lyme Doc scheduled ($150.)

So I’m asking pretty, pretty please for help covering this all.
It would mean so much to me. I reeeeeeally want to nip this in the bud & get back to feeling better!

In other news, some of you may have noticed that my social media accounts are no longer active. Yeah, that’s because I had all of my accounts hacked. Like super-duper-possibly-spyware-hacked. After two weeks of trying everything I’d read about to secure my accounts, with zero success, I finally just deactivated them.

It was around that same time that I met with my Dr and began my new protocol so I decided that perhaps the hacking was a sign that what I really needed was an opportunity to unplug and focus on relaxing and healing.

No lie, it’s been DEE-lightful. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again: I highly recommend digital detoxes & social media sabbaticals!

Anywho, I could really use help getting the word out about my GFM. Not being on social media means this is really the only way I can reach kind & generous folks like yourself. So it would really help if you could share this on FB since I can’t. ‍♀️

Also, if you’d like to give me a belated birthday present (my b-day was May 16th) please consider giving a small donation. Hopefully next year I can finally ask for non-medical related gifts!

Also I totally apologize for not being better with updates. Since I’m not currently on social media I’ll be better about sharing via my GFM mailing list so y’all know what’s going on.

Thanks again for your support,
Love & Blessings,
Kat

P.S. btw Hope Heal Cook fans, I do plan on returning to social media and blogging again once I’ve finally figured out how to thoroughly “scrub” my devices and I’ve gotten these pesky infections back under control. I definitely miss you all & actually have been working on some exciting top secret projects! Xx
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Hello everyone, this is Kat. I know it’s been a long time since our last update. Honestly, trying to maintain this became too much work following my surgeries and last LymeStop trip. My recovery from both was intense & because we lack a support network here in Seattle we kinda just fell apart for a while. A lot of things went undone. Like writing GFM updates.

The good news is both my surgeries and the LymeStop treatments were a success. About a month ago I started feeling better than I’ve ever felt. No more pain or fatigue. I felt clear headed, vibrant & energized. I could tell that I had FINALLY reached remission. The feeling was unmistakable. I knew I was infection-free.

Then, I began Bee Venom Therapy as part of my “maintenance protocol.” I was not prepared for what this treatment would to my adrenals. Within a week I’d totally crashed them. I stopped sleeping. I was a total stress mess, jumping at every little thing. I was assured this was normal, more vitamin C would help, and that in time it would get better...

But I decided to stop. I had JUST started feeling better. I was absolutely not ready to begin another intense, long term treatment plan. I prayed on this a lot and one clear thought arose: God is mercy. Putting myself through this when I’d just gotten back on my feet was absolutely not merciful. And when I finally decided to stop, I felt such peace. I know I made the right choice & I’m open to starting BVT again, but at a later date.

Part of while I was starting of BVT is because this therapy is able to flush out & kill any Lyme spirochetes that have been hiding out in hard to reach places like in my cells & spinal fluid. I am currently in Lyme remission, which means there’s always the possibility of a flare up. BVT is purported to fully eliminate infections: no chance of flare ups.

That’s sounds real good.

But after 7 years of full time intensive treatment, I need a break and so does Sean. Chronic illness takes a huge toll on a marriage (super fun statistic: 75% of marriages affected by chronic illness end in divorce) and we need some time to focus on US. We need a chance to rebuild our lives a bit, since up until just recently, my illnesses had basically put them on hold.

It took me two weeks to recover from my BVT experience. Soon after that, I started feeling aches and fatigue again. Turns out my Epstein Barr Virus is back up. Sean and I were both diagnosed and treated for mono back at LymeStop. He never fully healed his. I’m pretty sure he gave it back to me, although it’s possible starting BVT, and the stress it caused, triggered a viral flare.

Now we are both on an anti-viral protocol and feeling the die-off. Thankfully, I’m still doing better than I have in years. I’ve been doing Bikram Yoga twice a week, attending mass a few times a week & helping with the household chores.

All of that was impossible just 2 months ago. So while being back on anti-virals is a bummer, but I’ve been staying focused on all the wellness I’ve gained. Having mono is nothing compared to the infection load I had been carrying before!

My current medical expenses are thankfully lower. I’m not on a ton of antimicrobials anymore, although I’m still treating some nutritional deficiencies and maintaining a supplement protocol to address my genetic conditions. Sean also got a raise so we’ve been managing to cover those expenses. However, we didn’t receive all the donations we were hoping for this last year, so unfortunately we started putting med stuff on credit a few months ago.

We currently have about $8,000 in medical debt. Part of that is from post-surgery care and our most recent trip to Idaho for LymeStop, although some of it’s from before we started crowdfunding. When your treatments aren’t cover by insurance it’s crazy how fast the expenses add up!

So we are humbly asking for donations to help us pay down that debt. Sharing this on social media will help us get the word out, so remember what your kindergarten teacher taught you: sharing is caring!

I know we are not alone & that many people working to heal get straddled with medical debt. It sucks & if you’re in the same boat, my heart goes out to you. A humongo mega hug to everyone who’s donated. If it wasn’t for you, our debt would be loads worse. Folks, you made this healing possible. I hit remission because of YOU & your support.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
(Repeat infinitely.)

Kat & Sean
+ Read More
Hey everyone. Kat's healing up wonderfully from her Cavitation surgeries. Everything went to plan, as she was able to avoid antibiotics. Not much of break through. While still recovering from the surgeries, she has also added mold and parasite detox to the mix. These both call for some pretty intense protocols and Kat is really feeling the effects. It has been non stop for years now. I know how badly Kat just wants to be done. To have her life back. We both want this.

We are also getting ready for trip number 3 to LymeStop, in Idaho. We leave this Sunday. Kind of a lot to do in a month, but maybe this is what it will take so that this can be the last year. The last year that Kat has to live with daily chronic illness. That is actually the intention Kat put forth at the start of the year.

So we are staying optimistic that this is the big final push, and that the up coming year will be bright. Thank you all for your support. The generosity of others has brought us here and we can't thank you enough.

Sean
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$13,595 of $14,000 goal

Raised by 166 people in 27 months
Created December 11, 2016
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