In January of this year, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. As horrible as that sounded, it was a relief to finally have an answer as to why I’ve felt sick for so long.
Since childhood I’ve struggled with severe abdominal pain, migraines, fatigue, muscle weakness, breathing problems, memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and many other health issues. My entire life I've tried to hide my symptoms; I pushed my mind and body above and beyond any pain I was up against. I've done many things in my life with a smile, but very few people saw the real me. Behind everything achievement, sporting event, graduation, job, social or family function, I was fighting a battle and suffering internally. This December my symptoms reached the point I could no longer hide how sick I was from others, or myself. I was in and out of the hospital and seeing every doctor I could to get answers. My health deteriorated to the point that some days I couldn’t even get out of bed. I had to reduce my job hours from full-time to part-time, and now I’m not able to work at all. Falling this ill allowed me to get proper testing done to finally get diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, however it has taken everything from me. I loved working as a counselor, but it wasn’t fair to my clients that I couldn't function well enough to provide them with the motivation to heal. I have gone from being someone who was dependable to protect, love, and care for others who are suffering, to being the one overwhelmed with suffering. My body and mind no longer feels like my own. Physically my strength is gone, my mind feels like it’s on fire most days, and emotionally I am grieving the loss of everything that made me the person I was as a sister, daughter, family member, friend, significant other, and counselor. I am fighting to regain my body and mind so I can hopefully be strong for myself and others again one day.
Over the years I’ve seen many doctors and tried many treatments, but they only temporarily masked my symptoms. Fortunately, I’ve finally found a clinic with a doctor that can cure me. Right now I’m a patient at Sponaugle Wellness Institute. The treatment is intensive and expensive, but I know it will work! It will likely take 3 or 4 months at a cost of approximately $25,000 per month, and none of it is covered by insurance.
The money I raise will be used to pay for:
16 weeks of outpatient treatments, including daily IV infusions
Weekly blood and urine tests to monitor progress
Any additional tests needed such as CT and PET scans
Housing costs and travel costs
I really need help to pay for this journey of healing. I’d greatly appreciate it if you would please consider making a small donation; many small ones will add up to a huge help for me. Also, please help me spread the word and share my link on your social media. Sharing is as valuable to me as giving!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. I'll try to post updates so you can see what a difference your donations are making. I look forward to being healthy enough to return to my work as a counselor, so that I may help others heal too!
A Message From Mom
Since she was little, Ashley has always loved helping people, animals, plants, and everything in between that was in need of love or care. Whether it was a baby chick with a broken foot, a stray kitten found alongside a road, a dying bird in a parking lot, or a dog that needed a home, she seized the opportunity to help, protect, and heal.
As a parent I have watched Ashley become a rock for everyone around her. She hid her own pain to be with people in their darkest times of life; friends, family, and even strangers she knew she would never see again. No matter how sick she was her heart couldn't stand to see anything suffer. She carried such strength she naturally became a person so many relied on in times of crisis. That compassion led to her to a career in mental health, where she loved counseling people in need, and also enjoyed volunteering for service work.
￼￼But currently her life is on hold as she battles Lyme disease. As a parent, it's hard to watch your child suffering with painful sypmtoms and not know what to do. Even though she always tried to smile & hide her pain, inside she was hurting. We've been searching for answers for many years, and are so grateful that we found Dr. Sponaugle, who was able to diagnose Ashley and develop a treatment plan to heal her. Finally, we can see light at the end of the tunnel!
Now Ashley is the one who is in need of help. The treatment will take months, it's very expensive, and it's not pleasant getting hooked up to an IV for several hours every day. But she is determined to win this fight for her health. Any support you can show her while she takes this time to heal would really be appreciated! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Mothers hold their children's hands for a little while, but their hearts forever.
I love you Ashley.
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