We all know that one person in our lives that is ‘the giver’, the person who is always willing to help, who puts their own needs on hold for the happiness of others. Jo Bell (Kirkland), born in Mudgee NSW, and now living in our small rural community of Boggabri NSW, is our giver. Be it from constantly helping her own family members, to anonymously donating Christmas presents to less fortunate families she doesn’t even know, to providing the community with the opportunity to set up an art shed solely for the love of her town. These are only a few examples of our Jo’s generosity. Now she needs your help. Jo has recently been diagnosed with late stage Lyme Disease. She needs long term treatment to start as soon as possible due to a late diagnosis and severity of the disease. Our giver has no time to wait or save for the expensive long-haul treatment. Lyme Disease is an infection which is usually transmitted through tick bites. Because she has unknowingly had this disease for so many years, it has had a detrimental effect to her nervous, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, digestive, neurological, endocrine and respiratory systems. She’s only 46, but her test results have shown she has the body of a 64-year-old woman. Jo is at a chronic stage where her immune system is losing the battle to fight the disease, and if left untreated it will be fatal. Unfortunately, the disease is not very well-known in Australia and Jo’s specific treatment is not available through our regular health system. Jo has been trying to get help for years, desperate to find answers. It has been an emotionally and physically exhausting rollercoaster ride. Finally, Jo has found help to fight this disease, but because of the late stage diagnosis it is going to take longer with costs estimated to be around $100,000. She will frequently have to travel to Sydney for lengthy periods of time to undergo this treatment.

Our goal is to reach 100,000 people, who could perhaps donate $1 to help with Jo’s medical expenses. We also aim to make it aware that Lyme Disease exists in Australia. If there were more awareness surrounding Lyme Disease, perhaps more people with the same symptoms as Jo could be tested and treated earlier, saving on poor health and money. Let’s help get Jo back to her healthy self, give her quality of life back, and support her goal to spread awareness!


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Jason Draper 
Boggabri, NSW
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