Unfortunately, she struggles daily with this invisible disease. She looks fine, but underneath it all, she is deteriorating. My heart goes out to her on a daily basis. To hear and see her daily challenges first-hand is simply heartbreaking. This is her story…
My journey started back in 2005 with this "mysterious illness." Since then I’ve seen 23 specialists and each one of them noted my bizarre bloodwork but could never explain my debilitating condition. These specialists range from local to Worcester to Boston to New York.
Many people do not know that I am sick or how sick that I am. I fake being well and no one see’s my weak moments and struggles because I’ve gotten so good at hiding them. On days where I can't hide them, I hide myself. I recently started sharing my story because it is becoming more and more difficult to hide. I hope by exposing my truth of what lies beneath, it will help someone else figure out their mystery.
I’ve been put on this earth with a mission to serve others and although Lyme disease is constantly trying to take that away from me, this is just an obstacle and the biggest challenge of my life. My Lyme is so advanced that everyday activities are becoming difficult and risking not being able to go to Camp Sunshine and Haiti is not an option for me.
After 11 years of no answers, July 2016 I found Dr. Satnick in Princeton and he spent over 2 hours listening to my story but knew my diagnosis within minutes. He diagnosed me with Chronic Lyme Disease with co-infections Bartonella and Babesia. Lyme explained all of my issues from my food allergies, my dysfunctioning immune system, my passing out episodes, numbing in my limbs, neurological issues, cardiac challenges and all of the other “mystery” health challenges. I failed a simple breathing test because Lyme has also restricted my lungs but what has impacted me the most is that I passout frequently because my heart is not strong enough to circulate my blood efficiently.
I was only able to undergo treatment for a few weeks before dropping at work from unknown cardiac complications from Lyme. With resting heart rates of 172.8 beats per minute, attention needed to be focused on stabilizing my heart and I have spent the last few months doing that with a great cardiologist.
I currently go twice a week for infusions to support my heart and it helps but since my veins can't handle the demand, I will be having surgery to get a port placed. I have also had to adjust to sleeping with compression leggings and arm sleeves just to prioritize my blood flow.
I need to see Dr. Katherine Lantsman in Boston who is a Lyme specialist; however, she DOES NOT take insurance. She is well known to give life back to those who are fighting for their own against the fastest growing infectious bacterial disease in the USA. She charges $450 AN HOUR and that does not include medication. A family friend and girl from my town have seen Dr. Lantsman and have had to pay over $10,000 out of pocket. They are success stories and now are living their lives. Dr. Lantsman combines various approaches to treat the Lyme, which makes it so successful. Now this is becoming the difference between life and death and I must see her sooner than later.
I currently spend a minimum of $600 a month for my specialists, medications, and supplements. I am working full time, with a before school job, after school jobs and side jobs just to cover costs, but my body can’t support it much longer.
Thank you for reading my "Fight Against The Bite." This has been one heck of a battle for my life but I have too much left to do so I need to regain the upper hand and move forward.
- Cathy Walker
- Michelle Lujan
- Alan Ayres
- Stephen Ricciardi
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