Limelight to Lyme fight for BJ!

On May 26, 2013, BJ Murray entered New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital almost dead on arrival. Over the previous six months, he’d visited 8 ER rooms, where a total of 28 doctors had misdiagnosed him for everything from MS and Parkinson’s to lupus, fibromyalgia, ALS, hepatitis C, meningitis, encephalitis… you name it. BJ had been experiencing vision problems and shaking in his limbs since late 2012.  But, without a proper diagnosis, he hadn’t yet received proper treatment as his symptoms continued to worsen.
     At the hospital, doctors asked if he had ever been bitten by a tick—and with that, the truth started to emerge. BJ recalled a small mark that looked like a mosquito bite he received the previous summer down the Jersey shore; it caused minor problems at the time, but he didn’t think much of it. After months of tests for seemingly everything else, doctors finally confirmed the culprit: BJ had neurological Lyme disease with complications.
      For those of you who know this man, so full of life and positivity every time you see him, even the concept of him being ill is hard to fathom. BJ has been a mainstay of Chicago nightlife for over 30 years. He ran the famous VIP rooms at the Limelight and China Club, rubbing elbows with Hollywood friends and star athletes who came by for a great time and great company. BJ’s job was literally to put a smile on the faces of those around him, to match his own.  
     As the disease progressed, his symptoms continued to grow. Lyme disease is absolutely unrelenting, punishing those inflicted with an endless number of ailments. BJ deals with at least 20 on a daily basis: chronic fatigue, insomnia, short-term memory loss, heart issues, gut issues, muscle pain, problems speaking... the list goes on and on. It beats you up head to toe, and without any sort of miracle cure, the list of pills and remedies BJ takes to cope is almost as long.
     To know now how close he was to death five years ago is hard to comprehend. But BJ Murray has never been one to take things lying down. He's been fighting this disease piecemeal thus far, but what he really needs is an extensive treatment plan at an in-patient clinic. Through doctors and friends, he found the Magaziner Center for Wellness, a specialized Lyme and lupus treatment center in New Jersey with the region’s most experienced physicians and experts. With an emphasis on holistic, natural, and functional healing techniques, the Magaziner Center has successfully treated thousands of patients for similar ailments over the past 30 years, making it one of the top clinics combating the disease in the country. Every dollar raised here will be going towards BJ’s treatment and lodging at this private clinic. The estimated cost for this is $40,000—any proceeds exceeding that amount will be given to charities committed to fighting Lyme.
    As many of you know, BJ is not one to ask for help. He is the helper. He is always the one who bails his friends out, your biggest cheerleader when you win and the man who hugs you if things go wrong.  But in keeping silent and not wanting to burden others with his problems, he has become vulnerable. After years of fighting this alone, he’s in need of help, and as his friends and family it’s our goal to return him to the man he was before. We need to fix our boy BJ, and try to help others as well. Anything you can give, no matter how small, is hugely beneficial.
    To further raise awareness and funds for beating this insidious disease, there will be a benefit in BJ’s honor in Chicago at the Park West on May 16, 2018. Called “From Limelight to Lyme-Fight,” the fundraiser will feature 4 keynote Lyme disease speakers, 5-6 special musical guests, and a silent auction featuring works from a group called “Artists Against Lyme.”
     Money isn’t the only thing that helps someone with a fight like this, so please come out to support and spread the love if you’re able! May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and although BJ has wanted to hold this event in years past, he’s had to postpone due to his ongoing battle. He hasn’t been back to Chicago in almost six years, but the time is right for him to share his story and hopefully inspire others facing similar struggles. “You gotta stay up, stay strong, stay positive,” he says. “Life didn't deal me a lemon it dealt me Lyme and I just gotta make the best of it and help others fighting the fight.”

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  • Robert Hovey 
    • $500 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $3,000 
    • 13 mos
  • Julian André 
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
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    • $500 
    • 15 mos
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Fundraising team: Team BJ Murray (7)

Carter Pfeifer Mattig 
Raised $850 from 4 donations
Chicago, IL
Bj Murray 
Genevieve Jenny-Clark 
Team member
Raised $1,750 from 3 donations
Michael Blatter 
Team member
Raised $350 from 2 donations
Barb Bailey 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
Craig Davis 
Team member
This team raised $6,815 from 56 other donations.
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