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Help Gumby Fight Lyme Disease

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For those of you who don't already know, Gumby (Matt) was diagnosed with Lyme disease over 5 years ago. After multiple false negative tests, Gumby finally got a positive with one of the highest counts the doctors at Johns Hopkins had ever seen. He was treated with Doxycycline and sent on his way.

Unfortunately, we weren't educated enough on Lyme and the urgent necessity for Gumby to consult a LLMD (Lyme Literate MD). As it turns out, by the time he was diagnosed, Gumby was already far beyond the point of Doxy being an effective treatment option. By 2020, we both began to notice a major decline in his health. Gumby is living with crippling symptoms including chronic fatigue, extreme joint/bone/muscle pain, speech slurring, brain fog, severe headaches, major weight loss,  tremors/seizures, difficulty walking, short vision, anxiety, depression, and more. Fortunately, he has recently started seeing a LLMD, and the fight for his life has begun. After multiple MRIs and MRAs, it's been confirmed that he has chronic neurological Lyme. 

For anyone unfamiliar with Lyme disease, it is extremely difficult to treat once it reaches the chronic stage. Because of the extensive and comprehensive treatments required, in addition to chronic Lyme Disease being unrecognized by health insurance providers, it is not uncommon for someone with Lyme to spend $100k or more just to return to their normal quality of life.

Gumby is one month into his aggressive treatment with his PICC line (an inserted catheter into your vein that ends at your heart that allows for intravenous access that can be used for a prolonged period of time). He will continue this treatment for 8 months to a year and a half, along with other oral medications. Every day for the duration of his months long treatment, he will flush his line with saline, then connect his antibiotics for a 30-45 minute infusion, flush with saline again, then finish with heparin (a blood thinner). Once a week, his nurse comes to his home to change his bandages and check all of his vitals. After this treatment, he will then begin IVIG. Gumby is immunocompromised, meaning that he is unable to produce any antibodies on his own. This plasma infusion once a month at home will help to build his immune system back up.

Gumby has embarked on an ongoing journey that has involved taking on healthy lifestyle changes, researching Lyme, self-advocating for his well-being, and connecting with others who have walked in his shoes. Our hope is to see him live his life to the fullest once more and enjoy the things that he loves: snowboarding, fishing, kayaking, being in the great outdoors and building our skoolie!

With medical bills rolling in and his inability to make it to work half of the time due to chronic pain, it is with swallowed pride that we are turning to our family, friends, and strangers for help and support, both mentally and financially. 

Thank you so much in advance to anyone who is able to donate or share this page. We have been beautifully overwhelmed by the outpour of love and support as we navigate this new chapter in life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Here is a direct link to Gumby's Venmo, if that's a better option for you

We urge you all to be as proactive as possible to avoid the transmission of Lyme disease. Wear bug spray and long layers when out in the woods or tall grass. Always check for ticks. You don't need a bullseye rash from a tick bite to contract Lyme. In fact, it's not only ticks that can transmit the disease. Mosquitos, fleas, and any other blood sucking insects can transmit it just as effectively as ticks. We are still learning as we go, with so much left to learn, but are eager to shine a light on a disease that so many are unfamiliar with.

Below are some links for more information about Lyme disease:

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Jessie Muller
Sharpsburg, MD

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