Georgie Higgins needs your help. For the past four years, she’s been living with Lyme disease, a chronic illness that has had a debilitating effect on her life.
Lyme is an infectious disease caused by a tick bite. Its symptoms include severe exhaustion, nausea, chronic muscle pain, depression, anxiety and dizziness.
Georgie first contracted the disease in Australia in 2010, shortly after completing her studies to become a teacher. But despite the fact that the disease left her bedridden and in near constant pain, it took a full three years and two incorrect diagnoses before her Lyme disease was correctly identified.
For the last four years, Georgie has not been able to work or study. Every day, she battles symptoms including extreme fatigue, constant dizziness, debilitating migraines, muscle pain, anxiety and severe depression. At times she needs to use a wheelchair. While her friends have continued to build their lives – studying, embarking on careers, starting families – Georgie has felt left behind as she struggles simply to get out of bed each day and walk unaided.
Georgie has tried a number of different treatments, none of which have successfully rid her body of Lyme. While Lyme disease can be cured with a course of antibiotics when it is identified early, chronic Lyme is much harder to combat.
All told, Georgie’s treatment thus far has cost an estimated AUD $55 000. None of this has been covered by the Australian government, which does not recognize the existence of Lyme in Australia – creating a devastating financial burden to Georgie and her family.
Now, after extensive research and consultation with a Lyme doctor and a number of Lyme survivors, Georgie has finally found a treatment that might work – whole body hyperthermia therapy.
For treatment, Georgie will be put to sleep for 8 hours, and her body will be heated up to 42 degrees, which will boost her immunity in order to get rid of the bacteria. The treatment must be done twice in the space of two weeks, and also requires Georgie to follow strict recovery protocol for the next six months.
Whole body hyperthermia therapy has a very high success rate for curing Lyme, and has also been used to successfully treat cancer and other diseases.
The treatment is offered in Germany, and costs a total of AUD $30,000 – and this is where we are asking for your help.
Georgie still needs to raise $15,000 in order to go to Germany in November and, we hope, truly start the journey to healing.
Georgie’s friends know her as an amazingly upbeat and positive person who brings life to those around her, despite everything she’s been through.
Please donate to help Georgie get the treatment she needs and get her life back. And even if you aren’t able to give, please share Georgie’s story on your social networks, in your religious communities and with your family and friends.
Every little bit helps towards finally giving this kind, funny, resilient and generous young woman a chance to begin her life once again – 1 450 days of debilitating illness is long enough!
If you are in Australia and are able to give and comfortable giving via bank transfer, that helps us avoid the 8% cut that GoFundMe and PayPal take from online fundraising. (We recognise this is probably only an appropriate option for people who know Georgie personally.) Georgie's Australian bank details are:
Account holder: Georgina Higgins
Account number: 639683
If you are in South Africa and would prefer to give in ZAR to avoid international transaction costs, you can make a donation to the following account:
Name of Bank : ABSA
Name of Account Holder : Jaco Van Der Merwe
Account Number : 4083126956
Sort Code or Branch Code : 632005
Currency : ZAR
NB: The account is in Jaco's name because Georgie is unable to set up her own bank account. However, it is separate from Jaco's personal account and used only for Georgie's expenses. (Again, we recognise that this is probably only an appropriate option for people who know Georgie personally.)
Georgie's family and friends will add all offline donations to the GoFundMe campaign total so that it reflects the true amount raised!
Learn more about Lyme Disease: Visit http://lymedisease.org/lyme101/lyme_disease/lyme_disease.html
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