Since the age of 14 (I am 34 currently) I have dealt with an autoimmune disease called Lupus. For those who do not know what Lupus is, it's a chronic inflammatory condition in which the immune system attacks a wide variety of the bodies tissues and organs, which can include joints, kidneys, skin, heart, lungs, brain and blood cells. I have endured hair loss, rashes, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and all the emotional aspects of having a chronic illness. Over the past years it has been present, but manageable.
This past year my health has taken a turn for the worse and I've been in a healing crisis. A good friend suggested that I take a leap of faith and reach out to friends, family and community for support and financial assistance.
A couple months ago I was hospitalized for a skin infection called Cellulitis, as well as having a pretty intense lupus flare (photos included.) The doctors diagnosed me with Stage 4 Kidney disease. The treatment they encouraged me to take is a form of Chemo, as well as other drugs to help counter the side effects of what the chemo would do to my body. The way the doctor's worded it was that, "they want to fight fire with fire." The issue with this treatment is that there's no guarantee it will work.
When I was given this news, I immediately started feeling that I wanted to approach my healing in a much more loving, less toxic way. I immediately began seeking treatment through alternative therapies and found Dr. Kat Lewis, a Functional Medicine Practitioner. She specializes in "uncovering and treating the underlying causes of disease and dysfunction as opposed to just treating the symptoms." Dr. Kat is helping me with functional lab tests that will help lead me to the root issue of this disease and treat me with supplements and lifestyle changes that enable my body's ability to heal and protect me. We both believe that what's triggering the Lupus has to do with my digestion/gut, health, diet and environment. Since working with Dr. Kat for only a month I have already begun to see big improvements, such as hair growth, energy increase and clarity.
This past year I became a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and read about incredible success stories from people healing from the root issues. As you may or may not know, medical insurance doesn't cover these forms of treatments. This is why I am asking for help both emotionally and financially.
During the last few months while my health was at a low, I wasn't able to work. Due to the nature of my work, I did not qualify for sick pay or disability and was forced to move out of my house and back to my parents house.
My conventional lab results continue to show that the disease is likely spreading, and the doctor's only suggestion is Chemotherapy. I am still currently working with these doctors and will continue to get regularly checked and monitored. In the meantime, the below treatments are what I want to try before going this route.
From my research, these are the alternative treatments that will lead me to a healthy recovery, and this is what your donation would contribute to.
6 month Treatment Plan and expenses:
* $2,500 - Medical bills still owed from Hospital stay
* Functional Doctor/Functional labs (already have spent $1,500) going to be about $600+ for supplements each month
More tests are also needed to continue to further look into the root issues and monitor my progress
* Acupuncture: $250.00 a month
* Specific Autoimmune Diet - $600+ monthly
* Detox treatments - $500-$1,000 monthly
I believe that my body wants to heal, and will heal, given the right treatments and care. I’ve been journaling about my experiences for over 15 years and will use my experience to write a book to help people who are going through the same health issues as me.
I'm here to encourage, serve, and love others, and to find a better and kinder way to heal the body.
It's taken courage, vulnerability and strength to reach out. Thank you for listening to my story and for caring. Please know that I am grateful for any type of support and all is a blessing! Prayers, guidance and love are greatly appreciated.
Your donations will give my mind and body a chance to heal.
Peace, love and happiness,
- Benjamin + Shannon Paras
- Mistie Jung
- Rick and monica Sproul
- Justin Feldman
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