Samantha has always had a light and joyous spirit. The first to aid others in pain, to offer comfort, to encourage and support. With endless energy and a loving disposition, Samantha has been a gift to her family and friends.
Five years ago Sammy was bitten by a tick. She found the tick, immediately removed it and went to the doctors to be tested. All their tests came back negative. No Lyme disease. Wonderful!
However, over the next five years, Samantha struggled with chronic fatigue, a parasitic infection known as giardia, joint pain and swelling, exhaustive migraines, sensitivity to light, decreased brain function, bacterial and fungal infections, high blood pressure, chronic migratory pain, vertigo, and decreased motor control.
Sammy went from doctor after doctor, trying to find the reason for her ailments, but to no avail. Misdiagnosed again and again Sam did not receive the treatment she needed to get well and little by little her immune system started to buckle under the weight of the disease.
It was only recently that she was properly diagnosed. Samantha suffers from Lyme disease with co-infections of Bartonella, Anaplasmosis and Babesia. Unfortunately, the Lyme disease went undiagnosed for so long it has now become chronic. In five years she had gone from a vivacious, loving young woman working on her Doctorate, to someone who suffers constant exhaustion, weakness, joint pain, crippling migraines, an inability to focus and other neurological and cardiac symptoms. She is often too tired to move, or find joy in even her favorite activities. Due to the price of medical care and treatments, she is finding it very hard to get the treatments she needs to feel better. Unfortunately, insurance refuses to acknowledge the thousands of chronic Lyme sufferers across our great nation. Samantha has had to pay for all of her treatments out of pocket, depleting her savings and driving up credit card debt. These illnesses have also caused her to halt her completion of her PhD, which is a major part of who she is.
On Christmas day Samantha began her first round of antibiotics. The doctors want to work on increasing her physical strength by attacking the Bartonella and Anaplasmosis first, before attacking the more invasive Lyme disease.
In a sad twist the antibiotics, the very medicine they hoped would help, cause Sammy violent stomach cramping and vomiting, and she quickly lost weight.
However, Samantha’s doctors are optimistic. They feel Samantha can make a recovery, but it will take time. The Lyme disease was left untreated for so long that it has invaded her system completely and even with medication, Samantha will never be completely free of the disease.
What Samantha’s hope is, what our hope is, is to help Samantha during this time. When you are sick and the doctor says you need these medications and you wonder, ‘How can I pay for them? How can I not work? How will I pay my rent? Buy food? How can I give my body the rest it needs to recover and survive?’ We are desperate to help our Samantha answer these questions with this fundraiser. She of all people deserves the be supported in her time of need. As we are sure you all know, Samantha has so much to offer the world. She is such a bright light, and we know that when she is healthy and well again she will be able to help others heal through her work.
It is a difficult situation to be in, for any of us. All we can do is ask for your understanding, and hopefully, your help. No one should be trying to fight off a debilitating disease while not knowing how they will pay for the medications they need to recover. While she is working hard to fight these illnesses, she is struggling to do it alone. We are asking anyone who can help to lend us a hand in making sure that she can get the treatments she needs, and become herself, a bubbly confident scholar, a healer, and someone with the best laugh we’ve ever heard. We miss seeing Samantha enjoy life, and don’t want to see these illnesses continue to break her, taking her farther from living life.
Thank you to anyone who can take the time to send help to her, because she needs us all.
You can also follow along with Samantha's progress on her blog by clicking here!
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