The story I write for you is not a happy one. In fact, it is deeply tragic. Several years ago my sister, Amanda, began having symptoms of some unknown illness. It started with migraines and fatigue, then continued with episodic deafness, fevers, fainting spells, and then the discs of her spine began to deteriorate. During the first few months of the illness she lost 50 lbs. After working and playing in the outdoors all her life, even the most benign tasks became overly strenuous. Recently, as a result of her prolonged illness, her immune system has become weak and she has become sensitive to mold, a prominent toxin in the area where she lives.
For a couple of years she managed to keep working part time all the while looking for someone or some treatment that could cure her. After years of enduring dozens of costly exams, procedures and surgeries, being told it was depression or "all in her head", and being misdiagnosed by doctor after doctor, she was finally "diagnosed" with Chronic Lyme disease, a tick born illness. I say "diagnosed" because there is no test that can absolutely indicate it. As a result, the medical community largely does not believe in the chronic form of Lyme disease. Many physicians have refused to see her, told her she was lazy, got mad at her for "taking her health into her own hands", or worse yet told her she was "too sick" for them to see.
Prior to illness, she had incredible energy. She had obtained a bachelors degree in biology from the University of Louisville and master's degree in biogeochemistry from Florida International University . She worked as a biologist in Kentucky state parks, the Everglades and with the University of California finally ending up managing multi million dollar contracts for the California EPA to remediate water pollution. She had volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters, danced the Halau Hula, and even when just relaxing always had some knitting in her hand.
At the age of 40, she had to quit working and was allowed to move in with a dear friend who offered her a small bedroom in a rural community. Unfortunately, she is 5 hours away from any doctor that can help her and has no way of regularly getting to the city for all the care she needs. Antibiotics have somewhat stemmed the tide of her decline but she lives with chronic pain and sickness without day to day support from a spouse or nearby family. She does not qualify for any social services existing just above what is required but woefully short of what is needed to meet her medical needs.
Now her living situation is changing and she needs to move into a new place near a city with many more resources and doctors that may be able to help her, but unfortunately this means higher expense. She has spent all her savings, sold most of her possessions and after 8 years, she has reached a point of emotional, physical and financial collapse. The prospect of re-establishing herself in a city with no connections, with possible but tenuous medical help is a daunting but necessary step.
It is a burden that she together with her limited family and friends cannot meet on our own. What we are asking is that you help us to support her in her ongoing struggles and in her transition. We ask that you give whatever feel you can, or perhaps even more importantly, give your emotional support through thoughts of love and concern.
DonationsSee top donations
- Julie Patterson
- Karol Hauch
- Barbara DeYoung
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more