“When I was 22 years old, Lyme disease invaded my body – now most days I feel like I am 90 years old.
I don't remember what it's like to wake up and NOT feel pain.”
I am Rachel and I am 34 years old, a loving wife and a mother to my two beautiful children ages 5 and 7. I have Chronic Lyme disease and for over 10 years I have experienced feelings of hopelessness and frustration for living my prime years with debilitating symptoms such as: arthritis, blurred vision, dizziness, loss of concentration, palpitations, insomnia, hand tremors, frequent migraines, depression, severe muscle and joint pain, anxiety and chronic fatigue.
It took doctors two years to diagnose me with Lyme. By that time, the disease was already well into its destructive path in my body and unbeknownst to us, traditional treatments were ineffective and only work if the disease is caught within a few weeks. The doctors thought that I was rid of Lyme but I knew that I wasn’t. Over that past ten years I have seen numerous doctors, specialist, had labs and tests done, been misdiagnosed and taken so many medications that didn’t work or made me sicker. Lyme disease often gets misdiagnosed as its symptoms mimic more than 350 other conditions. I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and plantar fasciitis (a very painful condition in my feet making walking an excruciating task), tested for multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and lupus just to name a few. Lyme has been in my body for over 10 years, progressively making my symptoms worse and killing my quality of life.
I have always worked in the medical field and I take pride in my work and my ability to help others. I was once an active young adult who loved volleyball, fishing, hiking, kickboxing, spin, obstacle/endurance training (like the Spartan Race) and charity awareness challenges like the Climb for Air challenge for the American Lung Association. Below you see me, years ago competing in a "muck fest" obstacle challenge, determined and having fun.
Sadly, Lyme has taken all of that from me. Even on a good day, if I could push through the pain I would be so exhausted that none of it would be possible. There are days where I can barely stay awake at dinner with my family.
When I am well again, I want to be able to give back, I want to find a Lyme charity challenge and actually be able to participate to raise funds and awareness for this terrible, debilitating epidemic.
It has been explained to me that sometimes a world disease requires a world solution. And that means to rid my body of Lyme, I need to travel outside of the U.S. to get specialized hyperthermia treatments. I'm planning to go to St. Georg Klinik in Bad Aibling, Germany. During the three weeks there, I will undergo intensive treatments. Twice my core body temperature will be raised to 106-107 degrees through infrared lighting. Over more than a decade of treatments and thousands of patients at this hospital, people have shown eradication of the Lyme bacteria (Borrelia) from the body. I will also be undergoing an accelerated detoxification and repair treatment to flush neurotoxins out of my body after the Lyme bacteria is killed.
This is a financial burden far greater than my husband and family are able to bear. The treatments, recovery, supplement and travel expenses are very expensive and have to be paid out-of-pocket as no insurance will cover the cost of any of this. All of the $35,000 will be used on my treatment and giving me a second chance for health and happiness. I would appreciate ANY and ALL support you could give, be it financial, prayers and/or words or spreading the word. It would mean opportunities that change my life, my husband’s and the lives of my two wonderful children. Help me eliminate Lyme. I look forward to giving back to the world, what all of you have done for me. With immense gratitude, Rachel, Andrew, Adrian and Vivian.
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