This is my son, Cullen. He has been sick for twelve years and at times he thought he was going to die.
It was only recently that we finally received a diagnosis of Lyme disease after 10 years of being sick. If you are at all familiar with Lyme, it destroys lives and wreaks havoc on the body. Lyme robs you of any quality of life if it is not caught early enough for treatments to work. The longer Lyme remains undiagnosed, the worse it becomes and the harder it is to treat. Lyme created food allergies and digestive distress that has left Cullen with a menu of only 5 foods he can actually eat. It has caused hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, weight loss and as of late when Lyme reached his brain 2 years ago, it altered his speech, his ability to read effectively, absorb, retain and process information. It has affected his coordination and reflexes so that he has not driven in 5 years. Lyme disease ravaged Cullen's body and put his life on hold and in the last 3 years he has become housebound, the anxiety is so intense. He was home-schooled for most of his formative years, missing all of the milestone moments and friendships those years are all about and he is very lonely. We traveled the country for years in search of a diagnosis and treatment, and all that time, Cullen's health continued to deteriorate with no diagnosis ever having been identified and many thousands of dollars spent trying. He is weak, frail, sick and afraid of life. He is anxious and depressed and wonders why this happened to him and if he will ever get better.
After all this time, he has not lost hope and that strength is incredible to me given all the physical and emotional pain he has been through. In 2015 we were led to a Lyme Literate MD who was able to properly diagnose Cullen with Lyme disease and several co-infections. Cullen is now 23. He had to withdraw from college because he is too sick to attend any longer. He spends his days at home waiting for the miracle of healing so that he can go back to school and step back into his life fully and completely. He is keenly aware of the milestones and experiences he has missed out on. His friends are virtual ones. It has been heart-wrenching to watch him suffer mentally, emotionally and physically, but I am so grateful to be here with him to help get him through the days and take him to his medical appointments when it is needed.
With the mounting health expenses, I started a small business run in part from a home office to help pay for ongoing treatments. The Beet Lady manufactures products for individuals like Cullen who have health issues and need alternatives. It's a small business, but it provides a little extra income to help cover some of the costs for Cullen's medical expenses.
It is my hope through this GoFundMe page, that I can raise enough funds so that we can take him to Germany's St. George Clinic for Hyperthermia Treatments to heal his chronic Lyme Disease. Hyperthermia is a treatment that came to my attention last year and the stories I have read while researching, include people who have recovered. These stories give me enormous hope that one day, Cullen will have his life back. It is a very expensive treatment; however, this therapy has the potential to restore Cullen's health so that one day he can fully embrace his life. If we can raise the funds for the treatment, it could mean a brand new beginning and a second chance at life for my Cullen. Thank you for taking the time to read his story and if you are able to help us, we would be so grateful. Thank you.