Tracy needs your help to get Lyme Disease treatment!
After decades of silent struggle with various symptoms of mysterious origin, Tracy's health began to thoroughly crumble in 2016. As an itinerant opera singer without adequate health insurance, Tracy's ability to troubleshoot her increasing difficulties was virtually nonexistent. Crippling joint and soft tissue pain, extreme stiffness, migraines, brain fog, debilitating fatigue, and severe insomnia were among her many symptoms. Gradually, Tracy became less and less able to earn her living teaching and performing, even as she saw minimal results from such medical help as she could access. This passionate performer who used to sing and dance for hours at a time, who memorized entire books of music and lyrics in multiple languages, who traveled often and worked out at the gym regularly, became unable to get out of bed or off the floor, and constantly forgot what it was she was just saying or doing.
Finally, in early 2017, a friend suffering from Lyme Complex (Lyme Disease + co-infections and co-toxicities) told Tracy about a newer, more cost-efficient test and implored her to take it. The results were overwhelming, and confirmed that Tracy indeed has Lyme and multiple additional tick-borne infections. After many months on a waiting list to see a Lyme specialist, in the summer of 2017 Tracy finally embarked on the long road of treatment. But the bulk of any Lyme treatment is not covered by any insurance and lasts months to years, so Tracy's ability to get the help she needs is paralyzed by lack of funds. There are many clinical interventions out there, but virtually all are considered "experimental" or "alternative," and all are costly.
Lyme Disease, aka Borrelia, is a bacterial infection spread by tiny insects, and people can—and do—die from it without proper treatment. And ticks carry and transmit dozens of other diseases, some arguably scarier than the "well-known" Lyme. (Most Lyme patients have multiple infections.) When these diseases go undetected and untreated for so long, multiple bodily systems become impaired, and it's not enough to simply treat the infections. Many additional tests must be run, and additional conditions—thyroid, adrenals, neurotransmitters, heavy metals and environmental toxins, mold toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, GI trauma, endocrine dysregulation, food sensitivities (the list goes on and on)—require evaluation and treatment. Due to this limitless complexity, Lyme treatment is as much art as science, and there is no single approach that will heal every patient. Because each patient is unique, different approaches and treatments often must be tried before those that work for a given individual are found. Until further research advances Lyme diagnosis and treatment, trial and error with long timelines is sadly standard for every Lyme patient, even in the hands of experts. As appalling as it sounds, patients like Tracy—without financial resources—have few options, and are doomed to just get sicker and sicker, often until they die.
Tracy needs our help—anything, large or small, will be felt and useful. Tracy needs much more medical testing and treatment than she can afford, and so even beginning treatment in recent months has been constrained. Her credit cards were quickly maxed out after starting treatment and, like all of us, she still has to eat, put gas in her car to get to appointments, and pray her car doesn't break down. Tracy has always been very private and independent, but as her friend of 20+ years—and the friend who helped her get diagnosed—I am supporting her by asking for your help.
If you have ever heard Tracy sing or watched her perform, you know how much she has contributed to making the world a more beautiful place. Her voice, her smile, and her laugh always bring such light into the world, and we are all the poorer for that light to be so dimmed. Please, please, please, open your hearts, and let's join together as her supporters and community to help Tracy find her way back to life and making music!
Tracy as we all used to know her, performing and living the active Colorado life.
Tracy's main activity is trying to maintain this daily eradication and support protocol. By Lyme standards, this is not a lot(!) and some of the smallest bottles cost ~$70 each and only last about two weeks!
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Who is this organizer person?
Tracy met Rebecca Freedman (known to friends and family as Rivi) long ago and far away: Tracy had just graduated from B.U. and was living with her parents, and Rivi had just moved to New Jersey after getting married. Many years later—Tracy no longer in her parents’ house and Rivi no longer married—they both found themselves on Colorado’s Front Range, each pursuing her own life and goals. These two friends have since been through much more together, succumbing in succession to the same disease, and witnessing and trying to support each others’ struggles.
Photo: Tracy & Rivi several years ago—when Tracy was still functioning, but Rivi was much sicker (they call it an invisible illness for a reason!). The tables have since turned somewhat, and we are both still fighting on.
- Pamela Kammer
- Eric Baltuch
- Sarah Wigley
- Vasilios Daskalopoulos
Organizer and beneficiary
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