Shannon McGuire Medical Expenses


                              Shannon Needs Our Help!              
                 A Love in her Life,  Cloud9 (her horse)

           Photo is Cloud9 and Shannon Barrel Racing


Lyme Disease - We are constantly hearing about the threat of Lyme disease when it comes to pets.  However, humans are not immune to this dangerous disease and it is becoming more common.  Lyme disease can cause  suffering, unexplainable symptons such as joint pain, nervous system abnormalities, skin issues, loss of brain function, it attacks the immune system and can be very dangerous.  

Shannon's story

Shannon is a young, vibrant, beautiful 47 year old woman.  Her loves in life are her faith, family, friends and her sweet  corgi doggy named Gracie and her beautiful horse named Cloud 9.  The picture posted above shows Shannon with Cloud 9 performing their barrel racing.  It shows you that Shannon was very healthy and in great condition to be able to perform the way she did before Lyme disease attacked her body.

After several years of going to different specialist, Shannon was diagnosed in November 2016 with late stage neurological Lyme disease, and two other tick borne diseases Bartonella and Babesia.

She was misdiagnosed for several years. Lyme disease has only been in the US since it was diagnosed in 1975.  The current testing for Lyme disease is only 50% accurate.  Lyme can only be diagnosed in a small window of 4 to 6 weeks from when the bite occurs which limits and complicates the diagnosis of Lyme disease.   30% of people will get a bull's-eye rash but Shannon never had one.

Since Shannon was diagnosed with Lyme disease late, it had already attacked her organs and became systemic.  The Lyme disease attacked her gastrointestinal system and then her liver initially making it difficult to diagnose.  She was diagnosed with several GI related diseases.  Physicians thought she had some type of auto immune disease but testing was always negative.  She had an ultrasound of her stomach and it showed an inflamed and fatty liver.  Still physicians were unable to figure out the liver issues and pain she was having.  She was sent to see a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic.  The physician said he knew something was wrong but her test were inconclusive.  The Mayo physician told her to follow up in 6 months.  She continued to have flu like symptoms, migraines, severe fatigue, tachycardia and myalgias over the next 1and 1/2 years.

In the meantime, Shannon moved home to Holstein Iowa from MN to help her mother because her father (my uncle) had been sick and sadly had passed away.

Over time Shannon had met a few acquaintances that had Lyme disease.  They had similar symptoms and suggested she see a physician that dealt with complex chronic conditions.  Unfortunately, she could not get in to see the physician specialist for over a year because she did not have a diagnosis of Lyme disease.  A year later she tried a second time to get an appointment, this time the physician requested she send all of her medical records for her to review.  3 days later she received a phone call to make an appointment, she was so thankful, she feels through a divine intervention she was able to get this appointment.

Finally November of 2016 she was able to get into this Lyme literate MD in St. Paul MN and was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Her first appointment was long and detailed.  Her physician told her she was very sick and treatment needed to start immediately, she was in a life and death situation, the Lyme would take her life if not treated.

Her blood work was sent to a lab in Palo Alto, CA that specializes in extensive Lyme testing.  Labs confirmed her diagnosis.  She was also diagnosed with a virus that causes chronic fatigue syndrome.  Treatment started including 3 antibiotics for the 3 types of bacteria and
other medications.  As of today she takes a combination of 30 prescribed medications and supplements each day.

Shannon was employed at an Orthopedic Clinic in Storm Lake, IA as a Orthopedic Physician Assistant when she received the diagnosis.  Her work schedule was reduced to 30 hours per week.  She tried to continue work but she became progressively worse and could not function at work.  She was constantly dizzy, faint, nauseated, weak, memory issues and tremors in her hands and jaw.  She had developed POTS, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.  Many times she had to go lay down in a exam room to prevent passing out.  There were several episodes that she could not drive home from work and her mother would have to drive 45 minutes both ways to pick her up.

It was evident that she could no longer work.  She ended up going on FMLA for 12 weeks.  Once the 12 weeks were up she was not well enough to work.  Shannon insisted her physician let her try to work part time.  This ended up being a bad idea because with treatment she became progressively worse.  Her physician was accurate in stating that she would crash and Shannon continued to spiral downhill.  At this time she went onto short term disability.

Her journey was just getting started and it was going to be a long and very bumpy road ahead.  She was going to be in for the fight of her life.

Shannon continued to decline and was confined to home most of the time.  My aunt, her 78 year old mother became her caregiver, Shannon could not do daily activities on her own.  Her tremors became so severe she could not hold a brush in her hand.  The Lyme was  attacking her nervous system causing her brain to become inflamed, vertigo, balance and memory issues.  The Lyme also continued to attack her heart, liver and gastrointestinal system.

Financially she was able to survive on short term disability.  As of now, she has completely exhausted all of her finances and is in a tough situation.  Since her physician is out of state she has to pay cash for all visits.  Office visits range in cost from $350 to $700.

Shannon's Dr. appointements last from 2 to 4 hours due to the complexity of her diagnosis.  She continues to take all of her prescribed medications that she can afford.  Her physician has added additional supplements to support her immune system.  The supplements can be very expensive and not covered.  She has gone without some of them because of the cost.  She did qualify for Medicaid insurance starting in October but it is a very minimal amount.  This is the only  assistance available since she lives with her mother.  The state considers her mother's Medicare as her income.  Shannon's immediate family is trying to financially help her as they can but it is too much for them to provide what Shannon needs for her medications and just her daily living expenses.  She has not received any type of disability pay since May 2017 so she struggles to even buy food which her diet consists of no gluten, sugar or processed foods.  She has to order her food from an online market.

As of today medically she is not stable enough to return to work.  She will go in streaks of 4-5 good days then she will crash for several days.  BUT on the positive side she feels the better days are increasing since she has been on her medications.

I PRAY THAT THIS WILL TOUCH MANY HEARTS.  No amount is to small.  If you can not give financially please keep Shannon in your prayers.

 SHANNON IS SUCH A GIVING AND LOVING        PERSON, SHE WOULD BE THE 1ST ONE TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE IN NEED.  

Thank you for your help, God Bless!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Nadine Sitzmann Harskamp 
Organizer
City of Saint Peters, MO
Shannon McGuire 
Beneficiary
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