Help Joseph Cook Fight Lyme Disease

First and Foremost:
We are forever grateful to our Heavenly Father for his grace, strength, and provision; to each of you who have donated to Joseph's treatment in the past, and to those who have walked with us during this time of trial!
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The Current Need:

In June of 2020, Joseph once again began to decline in health. He was only able to work parts of 2 days from late June to present. He has developed strong around-the-clock headaches, widespread inflammation with burning pain and stiffness, weakness, and spells of uncontrollable muscle spasms.
The funds that have so generously been donated have resulted in Joseph being able to receive 10 IV treatments so far at a clinic in Spokane, WA. He was able to get a consultation with a new doctor, as well as several much needed costly lab tests. So far it seems that he has stopped getting worse, and has shown small signs of improvement.
His wife, Lora, currently provides daily care for Joseph, while simultaneously homeschooling their two youngest (both age 10). There is an urgent financial need for continued treatment, past medical debt, and basic living expenses, such as food, rent, etc. Their monthly budget is $4,000. 70% of his treatment is the IV’s that he gets in Spokane, WA., however, this cost $375 for 2 days of IV. 
The immediate family has been attempting to bear the financial burden, but it is simply more than we can handle. If the Lord lays it on your heart, please join us in helping Joseph & Lora in this time of trial. 

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. There is a contact button below.
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The Journey:


- In early 2014, 3 weeks after moving to Idaho from Pennsylvania, Joseph began to get seriously ill and underwent a lot of testing.
- In early 2015, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. They located a doctor in Richland, WA that began treatment. During treatment, Joseph was unable to work much.
-By early 2016, he was showing improvement. They moved to Ellensburg to accept a job offer.
- In early 2017, Joseph suffered a relapse, and again became unable to work. The local church congregation assisted financially while further testing was done. The previous doctor they had used in Richland was no longer practicing, so after much prayer and research, they chose Sponaugle Wellness Clinic in Florida.
- Plans were made to leave for Florida in December, following the wedding of their oldest son. By this time, Joseph was almost entirely confined to a wheelchair.
- Upon reaching the Clinic, they found that Joseph had 4 other co-infections. One affected his heart, causing heart attack-like symptoms. Another was in his brain, affecting him neurologically.
- By June 2018, after 6 months in FL, (which included 2 months of intense IV treatment, 2.5 months of out of clinic treatment due to funding challenges, and 1.5 more months of in clinic IV treatment) Joseph was much improved and walking on his own. Although the doctor felt he needed a couple more months of treatment, they simply didn't have the finances to continue, and so made the decision to leave the clinic and try to finish treatment at home.
- Over the course of the next year, Joseph continued to improve and build strength, working whenever he could to try to provide for his family.
- In June 2019, they moved back to Idaho so that Joseph could work with his son as health allowed, while continuing to treat at home as much as possible. During this time, there were still periods of a couple of weeks that he was unable to work.
- Late June 2020, Joseph began to decline once again. He has only been able to work parts of 2 days from Late June to October. He is developing strong around-the-clock headaches, widespread inflammation with burning pain and stiffness, weakness, and spells of uncontrollable muscle spasms. After much research, they have found a clinic in Spokane, WA.  His wife, Lora, currently provides care for Joseph, while simultaneously homeschooling their two 10 year old children.
- October 2020, The funds that have so generously been donated by many have resulted in Joseph being able to receive 10 IV treatments at a clinic in Spokane, WA. He was able to get a consultation with a new doctor, as well as several much needed lab tests. So far it seems that he has stopped getting worse, and has shown small signs of improvement.

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About Lyme, Co-infections, and Quality of Living


Every Lyme case is different, simply because it is often complicated by one or more co-infections that produce their own symptoms. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to diagnose. In Joseph's case, the co-infections have been fairly serious, as noted above.

Below is a description of the Symptoms that Joseph has faced:

One of the more prevalent symptoms is brain fog. Also, his thyroid was affected, causing long term fatigue.

While at the peak of suffering, he suffered with what is called an Ice Pick migraine headache. According to some people, the pain of this condition is the worst pain that can be felt by a human, worse even than limb amputation or childbirth. He would cry out in pain, but there was nothing that could be done except wait it out. 

Another symptom, was one night where he had what seemed by all appearances a heart attack. Chest pain, pain down one arm, and he collapsed while trying to walk. EMS was called, but their monitor showed nothing. At the hospital, they ran multiple tests, but the docs said he had a strong heart and there was nothing wrong. 

Often, his whole body would randomly go into convulsions, lasting several seconds at a time, including involuntary vocal sounds. 

Migraine headaches were frequent, often lasting over 24 hrs. Dizziness & lack of balance often plagued him. 

Every now and then He would get enough energy to go outside and walk or do small projects, but there was no way to know when it would happen. He couldn't just rest and "save up energy".

Below is a list of a few more symptoms that Joseph has faced
Peripheral neuropathy
Trouble swallowing (food, water, pills)
Bell's Palsy
Heightened sensitivity (to light, sounds, smells)
Debilitating fatigue
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Q&A:

As questions arise, if appropriate, I will answer them here. If you have a question, please contact me through this page

Q: Do they have insurance, or are they a part of a Christian health sharing ministry?
A: No. At the time of diagnoses, there was no insurance or health sharing ministry that we are aware of that covered Lyme disease in the US. As of 2020, There are now a few that will cover it, but no preexisting conditions* 

Q: 
A: 



* Samaritan Ministries will send out a one-time request for voluntary donations for preexisting conditions. 
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Final Thoughts from the Organizer:

This entire journey has been extremely difficult, both physically and emotionally for our whole family. 
Although awareness of Lyme disease is growing, most are not very familiar with it. We well know the devastation that Cancer has brought to our loved ones. Almost everyone I know has had a friend or relative die of Cancer. We are all very much aware of havoc that Covid-19 has caused, since it has been well covered by every media outlet in existence. But little do many realize that Lyme disease is a very substantial issue in the US; recent estimates by the CDC suggest that approximately 300,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States. If left untreated, it can lead to a slow, debilitating and painful death.
It could be that our lack of awareness has been influenced by the fact that many doctors misdiagnosed Lyme at the outset, when little was known about the disease. Which caused doctors everywhere to become hesitant to diagnose a case at all.
Also, much of the mainstream medical world has been insistent that Lyme is only Lyme if it shows up as a very noticeable "bulls-eye" like mark on the skin, and can be cured in a month's time. Therefore many are dismissive of it. Some states even declared that it was not a disease at all.

One couple my parents met at the clinic in FL told a sad story. The husband was in remission for cancer. They said that with Cancer, they had received tremendous support in various ways by many people. But then his wife became very ill with Lyme. People did not understand her sickness. He watched her extreme suffering while they received very little support from anyone. The husband stated that he would rather have cancer because people understood and were so supportive. 
This is not the only story we have heard from Lyme victims, most say the same thing.
It is our hope and prayer that we can raise awareness to the challenges and daily realities of those who suffer from this debilitating disease.

We hope and pray that God has and will yet receive glory from this situation.

Much gratitude from the bottom of our hearts to each one who has supported us through this time.

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
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    • $1,000 
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 14 d
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    • $1,000 
    • 15 d
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Organizer and beneficiary

Benjamin Cook 
Organizer
Burns, ID
Joseph Cook 
Beneficiary
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