Our daughter Kit began life normally — mostly a happy baby , she walked early, was in awe of her older sister, and smiled a lot. Then we began to notice some “anomalies” - she wasn’t beginning to use words and she occasionally seemed to be having difficulty balancing. After many consults and tests Kit began receiving speech therapy to develop the muscles in her tongue, lips, and cheeks, and physical therapy to address her balance issues (it was as if she didn’t trust gravity).
It was determined that Kit had a significant speech delay and other processing issues such as dyslexia. (Though it took extaordinary effort to learn to read, Kit has become an avid reader, always carrying a book with her). Kit also had “hyper-acute” hearing which contributed to her distractibility and resulted in an ADD diagnosis.
Though no specific/definite “diagnosis” ever emerged it was clear that Kit had significant learning differences - in fact, several times during her toddler years it was suggested that she might never roller skate or ride a bike, that she might not make it through high school, go to college, or ever drive… but she has done them ALL!
By God’s leading we took Kit’s expansive file to the Oakwood School in Annandale, VA, a school specializing in teaching children with learning differences…The head of the school took a week to look through Kit’s records and told us that he thought Kit was probably more intelligent than people realized and that she would benefit from the education she would receive there. He was right: although her expressive language was “behind” her age, testing revealed that her language comprehension was four years ahead! Kit thrived in the supportive environment, learned coping strategies, and developed some self-confidence.
High school turned out to be quite different; though Kit received learning assistance through an on-campus LD support staff, the social climate was pretty toxic for her (she hid most of her struggles from us). Friends in our church’s youth group and participation in a worship dance program helped her through those somewhat rough years. She went on to Virginia’s Bridgewater College (offered a partial scholarship) and earned a BA in Fine Arts.
Back home, while trying to find a job in graphic design she began working for a pet-care company as an independent contractor - she had started pet-sitting for friends and referrals while in junior high - and realized she really liked working with animals.
Then in February 2015, while driving across the county after a workday, Kit had a seizure on Fairfax County Parkway. It was determined (on a video) that while blacked out, she had crossed the median and gone about 1/4 mile against on-coming traffic.…Thankfully, the Lord protected her and the drivers she was headed for: she clipped the rear of a van before crashing into a barrier wall in the median, which totalled her car but left the other driver unhurt… Kit did fracture her left thumb (which required surgery to repair) and received contusions on her face from the deployed airbag. Because of the seizure she was unable (by law) to drive; when she returned to work she had to depend on us to drive her to clients.
After a second, milder seizure, Kit’s health continued to deteriorate - we’ve learned that perhaps the trauma of the accidnet released an excessive rush of cortisol that adversely affected her immune system. By October, because of unrelenting headaches and increasng neck, back, and joint pain that was not repsonding to treatment, her primary care doctor suggested she be tested for Lyme disease - which proved to be the case. She began an intensive protocol to treat the Lyme with its several co-infections.
Now, after almost 5 years since the initial seizure and accident, she is still has weekly and monthly medical treatments and takes a range of antibiotics and supplements for the various symptoms.
Through all of this Kit has continued to work as a full-time employee at a veterinary hospital, daycare and boarding facility. Though she has “decent” health insurance, it has a high deductible and much of her Lyme protocol is not covered…resulting in significant credit debt. In addition, she has had to undergo three additional surgeries: one to remove her gall bladder, another to repair torn ligaments and tendons in her left ankle after a bad fall at her workplace, and a third to her left shoulder to repair a torn labrum.
In all of this Kit has remained more positive than might be expected, but like many Lyme patients, she doesn’t “look” sick, and is disheartened to feel so often that she has to validate her limitations.
She has worked very hard at following the protocols recommended yet continues to be in significant and constant pain, including near- migraine headaches .Over the past year she has taken it upon herself to lose more than 60 pounds to reduce the strain on her joints, which has helped but not eliminated the pain.
Recently we have rejoiced with a dear friend (Laura) and fellow long-time Lyme-sufferer who underwent a miraculously successful treatment at a clinic which specializes in diagnosing and tailoring protocols for people with long-term chronic conditions. Her dramatic change and her and her parents’ endorsements (both are medically trained) and much prayer led us to investigate the possibility of Kit’s going there, too.
Kit has now been accepted for testing, and in January she and Michael will travel to Kansas for two weeks of diagnostic testing, daily consults with a team of doctors, and, we pray, the beginning of a successful complete healing protocol tailored for her full health.
Now, because we have gone through some significant savings to aid Kit with out-of-pocket expenses, we find ourselves asking for financial help. For this trip - the clinic cost, air fare, room and board, car rental, etc, - with the possiblity of a return visit , we anticipate having out-of-pocket expenses of upwards of $20,000 over the next six to nine months.
First and foremost, we ask for your prayers for a complete healing for Kit so that her life can finally be launched. Many of you have already been on this journey with us and have brought many blessings to us by your love and your petitions to our Lord - we are not unaware of your faithful friendship and the power of your prayers. Please keep on!
Also, if you are able and led to help us financially, whatever you can offer will be appreciated more than you can imagine.
With much gratitude for your compassion and encouragement,
Michael and Betsey… on behalf of our Kit.
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