My name is Randi (@woman_of_YHWH on Instagram), and I am 28 years old. Earlier this year, I became very ill and found out I have Lyme Disease. For those of you unfamiliar with this disease, I’d highly recommend watching the “Under Our Skin” documentary on YouTube… In a nutshell, Lyme Disease is now the #1 infectious disease in the US, and is caused by a tick, flea, or other insect transmitting the borrelia burgdorferi bacteria into our bloodstream. I never in my life could’ve imagined how devastating one tiny little insect bite could become. I had only moved from TX to the East Coast in Jan of this year- in the middle of the crazy “winter vortex.” At the end of Feb I began getting sick.. REALLY sick. At first I thought it was just seasonal flu or illness from the insane weather, and I did my best to “tough it out” and disguise how bad it was to my family, coworkers, etc…. but eventually the fatigue, photophobia/headaches, arthritis/joint pain, ringing in my ears, and “brain fog” kept getting worse and worse. I fumbled through work for almost 2 months, but then it became VERY bad. My short-term memory was almost nonexistent, I couldn’t answer my phone for days on end, I could hardly walk, and I could barely make myself even go to the grocery store. I had no clue what was wrong with me at first, all I knew is I was VERY ill. A coworker then mentioned that my symptoms were textbook indicators for Lyme Disease; so once I did my research, I knew that she was exactly right. Once you watch that documentary, you’ll understand why most Lyme specialists do not accept insurance & why this disease is particularly expensive to treat- because they are being bullied & threatened by insurance/big-pharma companies for treating patients with Lyme. I found a doctor an hour away, and my initial exam was almost $500 (not even including meds or my blood tests), so I got my first big dose of reality that this was not only going to be physically & mentally draining, but financially as well - especially since I was no longer able to work. As a little background on myself-- I’ve always been extremely independent with an over-achiever mentality, but I now realize how our strengths (and pride) can easily become our “Achilles Heel” in life--- there is little I despise more than asking anyone for help, not even those closest to me… A huge lesson I believe I am being taught as we speak. I am a licensed insurance & annuities agent/broker and I have been VERY blessed to work for a great company. However, I have always been a 100% commission agent--- so I don’t get paid anything when I’m not out producing. I tell you all this because I know that I am capable of rebounding quickly when I’m healthy- - but I’m very stubborn and would rather starve than to ever ask anyone for help… So after several wks of praying & toughing it out and trying to do everything on my own, I think God is humbling me in my situation and teaching me that sometimes it’s OK to ask for help and lean on brothers & sisters. Its also teaching me that there are probably A LOT of people struggling out there who have too much pride to ask for assistance, and I want to help them. I am so uncomfortable even typing this, but I have reached a point where I literally have NO CHOICE but to humble myself and seek help, or I will lose everything and not be able to continue receiving treatment so I can heal and rebound from this mess….My credit cards are maxed out, Just one of my meds is almost $600 I still need, and the last dollar in my account went to my rent (which I was only able to pay because a dear friend-in-Christ sent me money without my asking, and saved my butt big time… I am so thankful).****** If you are wondering where my family is in all of this, they are the only reason why I’ve made it as long as I have. As some of you know from following me on Instagram, my dad had a stroke/brain aneurysm in Oct this past year. I missed almost 3 months of work because I had stayed with him in ICU in Denver, which ultimately drained every last dime I had before my job transfer. This was absolutely devastating, but we are so blessed that he’s doing really well now. He knows I have Lyme (he graciously loaned me the $ to pay for my initial doctor appts & blood tests)--- BUT, as you can imagine, I have not wanted to worry them with how bad my situation has really gotten, because they have enough on their plate as it is. Anyway, God knows I’m ridiculously stubborn and not comfortable accepting help from anyone, so he and I made a deal that I think we’re both happy with LOL…..It allows me to give back and it is a promise I am making with each and every one of you. If anyone donates to my cause in helping me with my battle, I will in turn match EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR out of my future income and PAY-IT-FORWARD to someone who is chronically ill and struggling financially, with as much transparency for you all to demonstrate I am a woman of my word. I KNOW I am going to get better and I KNOW God will restore me to where I can return to work and get back on my feet in the near future (I’m going to slowly start next week), but I don’t want a handout, I just need a hand-UP in the short run to catch up & maintain my treatments. I don’t want to take away from anyone who may also be struggling and will not be in the position to recover the way I believe I will (God willing). If I raise $10,000, I will be giving away $10,000 of my own money to different individuals when I start working again- If you guys raise $30,000, I’ll raise the same--- I don’t care if it takes months or even years – I will pay every dime forward! I hope y’all know how sincere I am being with this!!!! --- My heart truly bleeds for those who are dealing with similar circumstances, and I’m going to make it my own personal promise to help as many as I can as soon as I get healthy myself. This site requires you to set a “goal,” and I have no clue how much everything is going to cost, but ANYTHING above and beyond what I absolutely need will be re-gifted to someone else in need. How will I choose the individuals I'll pay-it-forward to, you may be asking? *** On here, on my Instagram account, and on my upcoming website, I’m going to ask anyone to email me stories of people YOU know who are struggling financially from illness (or even a widow or single-parent), and may not necessarily even be ASKING for help, but who NEEDS help. These are the brothers & sisters I would love to pay-it-forward to! I’d especially love to give back to those who more local and personal to each of us. My mom has really taught me lately that charity starts with each of us at home --- we can’t keep tithing our money to the Joel Osteens of the world while turning a cheek to those closest to us in need (I’m guilty of that, and I will never do it again!!)… and I will now say from experience—there is very likely someone you know who is struggling that has too much pride to ask you for help. So please, think who you may know, and email me at [email redacted] with suggestions, and I will certainly take every single one of them into account!!! I want to end this with a sincere THANK YOU for taking the time to read the novel I just wrote, lol. If you cannot donate to this cause, more than anything, I’m grateful for your prayers for strength and the & fellowship that I’ve developed with you all in such an unexpected way (social media). If you are financially unable to donate to my or any cause, I’d like to encourage you to consider volunteering or giving back in some other manner. We are all blessed in ways that others may not be, and sometimes we just have to get creative. So many people out there are in need of our help, and its the little things that each of us do that really add up in a huge way for God. I love you all dearly and I thank you again for all the prayers & amazing words of encouragement!!! Much Love, Randi Lynn.