Loraine: Despite my dramatic entrance into the world, I feel that my childhood was relatively normal. I have fond memories of sledding down and biking around the streets of our suburban Denver neighborhood. And later on, collecting seashells and rescuing starfish on the beaches of Florida. Yes, I had a few food and environmental allergies, but I didn’t let it stop me.
I was quite active during my teen years. I ran cross-country in high school and traveled around the world after graduation. I even worked a full-time job when I was nineteen. Then a whole new chapter unfolded- a six year nightmare.
One day at work, my life took a very sharp and unexpected turn. It was a sunny autumn day and I was working in the back room of the library alphabetizing DVDs. Suddenly, my whole body started trembling. I was overcome by fatigue, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and felt as though I would faint. The symptoms subsided later that day, though they never completely disappeared, and even more symptoms started to appear over time.
That was back in 2011.
I will never forget that day, not only because that is how I still feel today, but also because that was the day my life was ripped out from under me. Since then, my health has continued to decline, especially over the last two years. In addition to the symptoms described above, I now also experience numbness and tingling in my hands, nerve pain, muscle pain and stiffness, episodes of low-blood sugar, and struggle to hold my balance while standing or walking.
The number of foods I can enjoy safely (without having an allergic reaction) has dwindled. Think about your favorite foods; those are all the foods I am allergic to and then some. That’s right. I can't eat bread, peanuts, tree-nuts, shellfish, eggs, sushi, or even potatoes. And I can’t have coffee! The list does not end there. My diet is restricted to a few fruits, vegetables, meat and just four non-wheat grains.
Explaining what is “wrong” with me is complicated.
It is comparable to a flu, except it doesn’t go away.
I feel like I am a prisoner on a merry-go-round.
It is like being stranded on a dirt road during a blizzard; isolated, numb and shivering uncontrollably.
These are just mere glimpses of what it feels like to be in my body. The most challenging part is not having a name or a diagnosis for my condition. Insurance is not keen to cover mystery illnesses. Figuring out what it could be has been a lengthy, stressful and taxing ordeal.
Mom: After visiting many doctors, (3 neurologists, an internist, a gastroenterologist, GPs / PCPs, and chiropractors) and having many tests (MRI, EEG brain scan, multiple blood tests, allergy testing, etc.) we have never received an exact diagnosis, but we have been able to put together many pieces of the puzzle.
It has been discovered that Loraine has an un-named immune issue. Loraine’s body is not detoxifying as it should. Her body ‘shuns’ food and treats it as an ‘intruder’ within her blood stream and the intake of food is not being digested properly.
Being under the care of integrative doctors has helped to alleviate some of the discomforts of her health issues. Since we have exhausted other medical avenues, we are confident that these clinics and practitioners will help Loraine feel better and recover.
Loraine: Treatments that have already proven helpful to me include chiropractic care, allergy treatments and immune boosting therapies (IV nutrients and medication).
Regular chiropractic care has improved my balance and increased my stamina, so I can walk and stand for longer periods of time. Chiropractic adjustments have also helped to alleviate the pain and tremors. Allergy treatments have helped me to be able to eat oranges and butter again without having allergic reactions.
I can personally testify to how these treatments have helped to improve my health. I am confident that with continued and additional treatments I will have a chance to lead a normal, healthy life.
It is a huge relief to finally have answers! I am scheduled to begin treatments on April 2, 2018.
Insurance only pays for a fraction of the treatments I will need and time is running out. In three months, I will turn 26 and I will no longer be covered by insurance.
We need to raise $7500.
The money raised will help cover the costs of my treatments, which include:
-Immune boosting therapies (IV therapy)
Mom: As her mother, I struggle daily watching Loraine’s frustration, planning and shopping for meals, witnessing her lack of energy and constantly wondering if any of the food she eats is helping or harming her. It breaks my heart to stand by and watch on a daily basis, my daughter’s health wax and wane. As her mother I should be able to help her, to make her feel better, to have the answers. My faith in God keeps me going and I know He will answer our prayers. It is with great humility and vulnerability that we are reaching out to you and asking for help.
Loraine: My parents have been a huge help through all of this. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for me. I cannot imagine how awful it must be for them to watch my health decline.
A lot of thought, prayer and discussion went into starting this campaign. Seriously it has taken weeks to launch my GoFundMe! It has been quite the struggle to accept that I need help physically, and an even bigger challenge to ask for financial assistance.
My mother sums it up pretty well by saying, “You can’t put a price on someone’s life”. Hard to argue with that!
I am extremely grateful for all of your prayers, as well as the love and support everyone has shown me during this time. I am incredibly blessed! Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and for considering making a donation to my GoFundMe. Please spread the word by sharing this link to your Facebook, Instagram or any social media platform. Thank you!
Loraine, Mom & Family
- Judy Shaw
- Katrina Beard
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