Life and Life Abundant

Hi Friends and Family!

Wow, where to begin...

To some of you, all that I am about to share will come as a big surprise, to others it might help explain some things, and then there are others who have seen and witnessed various pieces of this journey I have been on. 

For the past 12 years, I have been in a rather intense battle contending for my health, my quality of life, my future, my destiny, and for the Lord's beautiful promise to all of us of "life and life abundant!" Let me share a little more with you.

· 2006 – Started developing some strange and concerning health symptoms (blanking out chunks of time, forgetting or being unable to recall basic words, facts, and names, driving from one location to another but not recalling the trip in between, and overall just feeling my mental capacities slipping, along with an overwhelming sense of exhaustion). I sought treatment from doctors who did a lot of testing and evaluations, but they couldn’t find anything conclusive.

· 2006 to 2012 – Symptoms continued to worsen and diversify, manifesting internally and externally over these six years. Doctors did lots of testing, I saw multiple different specialists, and tried various courses of treatment, but no one could figure out what was wrong, the treatments didn’t work, and my health continued to decline rapidly.

· 2012 – Health hit an all-time low. I was struggling to do the simplest of tasks (like get out of bed in the morning, drive, etc..), due to extreme pain, lack of mental functioning, and my body starting to literally shut down. I felt like I was dying, and was barely able to function and do the basic life pieces I needed to do (work, etc..). I was feeling hopeless, scared, and at a loss as far as what to do to fix it.

· Christmas 2012 – Connected with a doctor in Florida who was willing to dig deeper, and he was finally able to figure out what was going on with me, after 6 years of no conclusive answers or solutions. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (an autoimmune disease), chronic inflammation, major hormonal imbalances, and adrenal fatigue, with each condition playing off of and effecting the others. The doctor was shocked by some of my test results, stating that my inflammation levels alone, should have made it impossible for me to function or get out of bed in the morning. They were 3-4 times higher than the highest levels he had seen, even in patients in the ICU who had just been undergone extensive surgery or trauma. It was a miracle I was still able to go to work and somewhat function. I was so thankful that Jesus had kept me going!

· 2013  - We started treatment (multiple prescriptions, supplements, and lifestyle interventions), and I started to gain some health traction, and was no longer declining, but still not anywhere close to having my health back to the level it had been prior to getting sick in 2006.

· 2014 to 2016 – I found a new specialist in California who was able to make some major headway in the treatment of my conditions. We were able to start gradually taking me off some of the medications and supplements as my body healed. I was finally starting to feel good in my body again and like I could get my life back. Unfortunately, my battle was not over yet. 

·March 2017 – My health took a major nose dive. Without changing anything, my health completely crashed, and I tanked. All the health gains from the past 5 years were lost over a month and a half period, and in some instances, I was symptomatically worse than I had been before being diagnosed in 2012. The specialist I was seeing was stumped and could not figure out why I crashed, or how to fix it.

· 2017 – I started seeing some other specialists in my area and had more extensive testing completed, but doctors were all at a loss and nothing conclusive came back from the testing. None of the treatments they suggested helped, other than to stop my health from declining further. I was back to barely being able to function. I spent over $7,000 last year alone on medical treatment, which is challenging, since I am in full-time ministry and living on a non-profit salary.

Over the course of this year, 2018, I have continued to see different specialists, who have done more testing, and tried to get me back on the road to healing. In the past two months, I have spent over $3,000 dollars on tests, doctors’ visits, and medical expenses with no gain in healing and doctors still being rather stumped. This brings me to today, and why I am sharing this with all of you.
I have realized that I have reached my limit of what I am able to do by myself physically, emotionally, and financially. I am just spent, and not able to continue on with the way circumstances currently are. I'm not giving up, but I also know I can't fight this fight alone anymore, and I need a community of people around me to help me beat this one and get my life back once and for all. I have been hesitant to share this journey because, to be honest, it is kind of embarrassing for me. I am used to being the quote on quote "strong one" who is pretty independent and self-sufficient. Our Western culture also isn't big on showing our weaknesses, and I am not the best at asking for help, as many of you know. It also is hard to admit to this level of sickness and health struggle, during what is generally a season in life where people are thriving and at their most vital, from the late teen's to early 30's. My health struggles have also not been something  I wanted defining me or how people saw me, which is why I have been pretty private about this whole process and journey over the last 12 years, but I am also at the point where they will significantly define my life if headway and traction are not gained soon, as many of my dreams, hopes, and desires, are limited by my current health status and lack of functionality.

Right now I am at a crucial junction in this story. Over the past 8 months or so, I connected with a doctor and clinic in Eagan, Minnesota who specializes in treating the tough cases that no one else can solve. People from all over the world who are at the end of their ropes, so to speak, come to this clinic and these doctors are able to help get them on the right track and back on the road to healing.  The clinic and doctor specialize in treating people with autoimmune diseases (like myself) and other difficult to treat conditions. Typically, they say it is about a 2 to 5 year process from beginning treatment to full health and healing for people with autoimmune conditions, since those types of diseases effect so many different systems in our bodies, and have 8 or 9 different layers that need to be looked at and addressed that all play off of each other. The treatment process with this team of doctors begins with a week stay at the clinic consisting of five full days of intensive testing, diagnostics, and treatments, and ends with creating a long-term treatment plan. I have the opportunity to see the head doctor at this clinic, Dr. Troy Spurrill, and under-go the week-long process, in mid-October of this year, provided I can raise the funding. This type of intensive process and program is rather expensive though, which is where I am asking for your help. I need to raise around $5,000 dollars over the next month, in order to be able to take this giant leap forward in my healing journey and process. Here is the financial breakdown:

· The week-long program, including all treatments, testing, doctors’ appointments with the whole team, and long-term treatment plan costs around $3,000. It can be more or less depending on what treatments are actually recommended after the initial appointment and diagnosis, but is usually generally in that ballpark.

· Additional labs and testing that I need to do before the program cost an additional $1,000.

· Finally, I estimate travel costs (flights, lodging, car rental, and food) would be around another $1,000.  

While this may seem expensive, it is actually a really good deal compared to most doctors and facilities. Over the past 6 years, since being diagnosed in 2012, my medical expenses have totaled over $30,000 easily. The specialist I am seeing right now costs $500 dollars for an hour appointment, with no testing or treatments included. The week-long stay at the clinic in Minnesota includes appointments, testing and treatments with multiple specialists for 7 hours every day I am there, by doctors who are familiar with and able to treat my kind of case. By comparison the cost for that amount of time with the current specialist I am seeing, who is at a loss for how to treat me, would be over $17,000 without any testing or treatments. In addition, after the week-long program concludes, I would have regular follow up appointments with Dr. Troy who would work with my doctor out here to continue to treat me for the duration of my healing process. I am personally able to manage the cost of the follow up appointments and on-going care and treatment, but I am not able to pay the expense for this initial week-long treatment program. That is where I need your help.

Would you please pray about and consider partnering with me financially in this chapter of my health journey and endeavor to get my life back? Would you also consider sharing my story and this campaign with others who might be willing to link arms with me in this process? Lastly, would you be willing to pray with me to see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living in this area of my life, as well as to see the fulfillment of the future and the hope and abundant life He has promised me and each one of you? I can't do this without you!

I look forward with expectancy and hope to being able to run the race God has set before me, unhindered by this challenge I have been fighting.  Thank you for considering partnering with me and allowing me to share my story. I am truly thankful for each one of you and praying God's richest blessings over you!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to His power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church in Christ Jesus to all generations, both now and forevermore. Amen." 
-Ephesians 3:20-21

(For those of you who are interested in learning more about Dr. Troy and his clinic, I have included a link below that shares more about the week-stay program. I also included a link to a radio show recording Dr. Troy made a guest appearance on, where he shares and answers questions about many health factors relating to the conditions I am currently fighting. Also, if any of you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask. Lastly, if the donations given end up totaling more than $5,000, the additional funds will be used for on-going medical expenses and treatment. Thank you for engaging in this journey with me!

Link providing more information about the week stay program and the clinic:  http://www.officialsynapse.com/

Link to the radio show where Dr. Troy was featured and spoke about several of the factors effecting my health and disease process (the first 30 minutes or so deal more with some of the factors I am facing, but it is all interesting and informative):

https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/live-the-promise/understanding-your-metabolism-jZb3LsgdMru/

Link to a radio show archive featuring Dr. Troy:

http://myfaithradio.com/tag/troy-spurrill/
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Organizer

Erin Funk 
Organizer
Mount Hermon, CA
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