Josef Urban- Lyme Disease Treatment Fund

Since some of our friends compelled us to start a GoFundMe to pass along to their contacts and since many of you don't know us, I would like to introduce myself and share our story and our current need. To those who do know us, you will find out what we have been suffering as of late.
 
My name is Lina, wife of Josef Urban and mom to our two beautiful children, Ariella and Josiah (with a third one on the way!). I’m starting this GoFundMe in the hopes of getting the funds that we need to help pay for my dear husband’s medical expenses associated with necessary treatment for Lyme Disease.
 
As a wife, it’s been so hard to see the man you love who was once full of health, vigor, strength and zeal start to dwindle away. I met him when he was getting started in ministry, a bold young preacher who would hit the inner streets of Detroit with a Bible in his hand and would reach the “unreachable” for Christ. We saw gangsters, prostitutes, homeless, and even a predominant gang leader come to Christ. Numerous lives literally transformed in the blink of an eye from the power of the Gospel!
 
Josef then had a desire to reach the nations and decided to move us to Mexico. Once again, he went in faith trusting that these “dry bones” would hear the Word of the Lord and rise. He would stand in the open air and proclaim Christ to the people in the town squares and also started an online ministry in Spanish, and through these two means the Lord started saving sinners once again. We then attempted our first church plant and the Lord graciously started adding to His church. Long story short: one church became two, two became three, three became four and so on. Now there’s a handful of sound churches that come from this movement throughout the country of Mexico.
 
Josef travelled for years from city to city, spending himself to plant these churches. But being in a foreign country took a toll on his health. He got dengue (AKA “breakbone fever”) in the beginning of our time in Mexico. I had never seen someone suffer this way—I just remembered thinking, ‘This is what I would read in missionary stories.’ Little did I know this would be the beginning of many more infirmities to come. He suffered countless bouts of stomach illnesses, some even landed him in the hospital. The loads of antibiotics he took in our ten years of being there caused havoc on his poor body; his good bacteria was wiped out and caused a chain of health problems for him. To this day he’s suffering the consequences of this. He also needs testing to see if he contracted any other parasites/worms in Mexico. He's never done an extensive test for this. 
 
Josef’s health started to take a bigger plunge about four years ago, and this is when we suspect he contracted Lyme. At this time we were living in an area where there were deer and found ticks inside our home. The conventional medical establishment holds that Lyme Disease is caused by bacteria called spirochetes of the genus Borrelia. It’s transmitted through the bite of an infected tick or nymph. These spirochetes go into your body and screw into your organs and cause pains and many complications. Lyme causes a systemic infection and creates and array of health issues. I remember at this time having small, strange bites on my body and didn’t think much of it. Our son also had issues with his legs for some time that eventually wouldn’t allow him to walk at a time; this is very common in children with Lyme. We saw various doctors to find him help but no one had satisfactory answers. Thankfully he eventually recovered on his own.
 
But it was at this time that Josef started to have the typical Lyme symptoms. We visited many doctors to see what was wrong with him. All the doctors thought it was all these isolated issues going on and Lyme never crossed anyone’s radar. I will never forget one doctor in particular, when he started to examine Josef his face changed, almost as if fear captivated him. He urged Josef to get tested for cancer because of his symptoms and what he saw in Josef’s body. He noticed that Josef had lost a lot of weight due to his belt buckle; he could see where he used to buckle and where he would buckle now and knew there was a serious problem that was causing him to dwindle away. He sent us for many tests and thankfully the test results came negative for cancer. But still no answers.
 
In 2018, we came to Grand Rapids so Josef could pursue seminary studies to be better equipped for ministry in the hopes of training men for the ministry in Latin America. But his health continued to be a constant burden for him. Once again we went through a long season of seeing doctor after doctor, being referred to many different specialists for his symptoms. Thankfully, the Lord provided for all these costs, which for the most part were covered by our insurance. But the doctors had not been able to discover what Josef was suffering from. They confirmed the symptoms, but never made a diagnosis that could make sense of the symptoms. He also had a mysterious affliction that to this day no doctor has been able to figure out how to help him. Basically, his upper rib cage is collapsing inward, intruding into the chest area. That’s a whole other story but it has caused seasons of excrutiating pain and anxiety. All the doctors say the same thing, that it seems as if he had a recent trauma to his chest. It looks as if he was beat with a metal bar and his ribs caved in, and this is how it has felt to him. To make things worse, he has not been able to successfully finish any medications that he's been prescribed to help his ailments. He's had adverse side effects to all of them! Doctors have to quickly remove his meds and he is left with no relief. He even had to go to the ER earlier this year for stomach bleeding after taking a certain medication that was prescribed to him. His frail body can’t handle many meds anymore.
 
Josef has experienced ongoing episodes of paralyzing pain, chronic severe insomnia, flu-like symptoms, extreme severe fatigue, nausea, mental grogginess, vertigo, bodily anxieties, skin disorders, etc. He has been very ill on an almost daily basis. Josef has spent entire days, sometimes weeks at a time, laid out from the pain and fatigue caused by this disease. Sometimes he has felt as if death is at the door. Our poor children’s daily prayers are, “Please Lord, don’t let Daddy die.” Sometimes we have thought that it must be their prayers that are keeping him alive. They see how much he suffers and know he is not well. For the past few months he’s been getting worse and worse. Now he’s almost bed ridden all the time. By God’s grace sometimes he has “good” days, where he has energy and can get up for a few hours and can function fairly well during those hours, but then he utterly collapses and is laid out for most of the day. But sadly, most of his days are confined to a bed now. Even talking wears him out now! 
 
It was providential how we got the Lyme diagnosis. I ended up going to the ER earlier this year for some neurological issues. The ER doctor was very worried for me and sent me in to see a Neurologist. The latter sent me in for testing for 32 different tests! She knew I had a serious problem but didn’t know what. Long story short, I tested positive for Lyme. I’ve also been experiencing some symptoms, but not as bad as Josef’s. Upon receiving my diagnosis, I researched Lyme and I was certain Josef had a severe case of it. So, I called his doctor right away and insisted he too get tested—sure enough he tested positive too.

After doing more research, we discovered that many of his sufferings correspond to the most common symptoms of stage three Lyme when the disease progresses. Without treatment, the symptoms can progress to the point of permanently handicapping a person. But with treatment, there is good prospect for recovery.

Now that we know what he’s suffering from we have hopes that perhaps he can start to recover and get his life and health back.
 
We have chosen to visit a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) here in Michigan. The course of treatment will possibly be long-term intravenous antibiotics in addition to herbal protocols, supplements, lifestyle protocols, and other medications. We’re also planning on consulting with a holistic doctor who treated a friend of ours who had Lyme. He suffered for seven years, bedridden for the last 18 months of it, left ministry and moved to Grand Rapids to basically leave his family in a Christian community and die. This was a healthy, strong man who used to be a pro baseball player and even he got laid out by this vicious disease. This doctor helped get him on his feet and now he’s planting a church in our small town! He got his life and health back. If you look at him, you wouldn’t even think he had Lyme. He’s up and serving our Lord now and oh, how I wish to see my husband restored in the same way!
 
We need much wisdom choosing the correct healthcare. The route of treatment we will pursue depends on the budget we have to work with, which at this time is very little. There are more expensive treatments that could be very helpful to Josef so I will put a large cap on this campaign, who knows perhaps the Lord wants him to get the best care! I know that’s the desire of some of our friends, thus the push from them for me to start this campaign. I’m hoping that whatever amount of help we get would be in accord with God’s perfect will, I think this will help lead us to what type of care he should receive. Other related expenses include equipment for Josef’s physical therapy, further blood work, travel expenses for doctors visits etc. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support! A succesful GoFundMe campaign is achieved with people sharing and spreading the word. I ask that you please take the time today to share and spread the word so we can urgently get the help we need! Thank you.   

Address for checks:


Josef Urban
7461 12th Avenue
Jenison MI 49428
United States

Organizer

Lina Torres-Urban 
Organizer
Jenison, MI

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