As a 48 year old widow suffering from Lyme disease and spinal degeneration, Cristi has also been the victim of two car accidents. We are raising funds to help Cristi as she strives for healing.
My name is Anna Dyke and I am advocating for my dear friend Christina D. Kennedy. ( Cristi )
Cristi is a 48-year old fun-loving, kind, caring Mom and Grandma.
I came to know Cristi when I was looking for some extra companionship for my Mom in 2016. Due to deteriorating health, Cristi wasn’t able to hold down a job at the time, but was able to brighten my Mom's day by playing games with her, praying with her, and sharing her beautiful smile and encouragement. My Mom thought the world of her.
Some of the challenging medical conditions that have come Cristi’s way over the years, along with physical and emotional trauma she has endured during her lifetime, have at times caused her to feel like she was in an uncontrollable downward spiral. Yet Cristi has continued to work hard at pursuing a healthy lifestyle and doing whatever she could to improve her health and maintain a positive outlook.
In 2008, Cristi and her husband David began a tree removal business that they owned and operated. During their time in the tree removal business, Cristi and her son Jay, who was employed by the business, both contracted Lyme Disease. Then, in 2010 and 2013, Cristi was the victim of two car accidents, which contributed greatly to the spinal degeneration she now suffers from.
Cristi's husband David was also employed as a faller for a helicopter-logging operation. In 2014, just a couple of weeks before Christmas, Cristi received a call in which her worst fear was realized -David was killed on the job.
Due to the added stress of mourning the loss of her husband, Cristi's Lyme Disease symptoms worsened until she was no longer able to work full time. Lyme Disease has affected Cristi's health in the following ways: migraine headaches, bowel obstructions, fatigue, overall chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, inability to sleep, anxiety, and food allergies.
In recent years, there have been many trips to the Emergency Room due to various symptoms including: severe body tremors, tachycardia, severe neck pain, bowel obstructions, and migraine headaches. Cristi was told on one of these occasions by a physician that she may never get better. Most health care providers with whom Cristi has had appointments have not given her much hope of improving her health.
During the summer of 2019, Cristi suffered a severe and sudden deterioration that has limited her to a wheelchair and walker plus a neck brace when being transported to appointments. Then in late fall of 2019, a Vancouver Cardiologist diagnosed Cristi with POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). POTS is a syndrome that affects the autonomic nervous system including the heart and lungs. During this time, an MRI revealed brain lesions, a compressed spinal cord, severe stenosis, a bulged disc, and arthritis in the c4 and c5 vertebrae of Cristi's spinal cord. The doctors are unsure as to whether the brain lesions or the damage to her neck and spinal cord have caused the POTS. Cristi has had appointments with numerous specialists, and was put on a waiting list to see a neurologist, which has now been delayed significantly due to Covid-19.
This past winter Cristi was mostly bedridden, and primarily cared for by her son Jay. Toward the end of winter, a physiotherapist provided Cristi with a couple of in-home appointments, and treated her neck and gave her some simple exercises to do. This helped her enough to be slightly more mobile and less dependent on using her walker at home. The physiotherapist, however, was reluctant to provide Cristi with ongoing treatment due to the complexity of her issues. Cristi also visited a reputable naturopath who administered numerous tests, viewed her MRI, and concluded that her first priority should be either surgery or treatment on her neck.
Most recently, Cristi has begun seeing a chiropractor with excellent references. She had X-rays and nerve scans done which have revealed a highly damaged and twisted spine, and pinched nerves. After the chiropractor assessed the scans and X-rays he suggested the damage to her cervical spine was done 5-10 years ago--during approximately the same time frame when her car accidents took place.
After less than 3 weeks of chiropractic treatment, Cristi experienced a major decrease in pain, both in her neck and at the base of her skull. She has increased energy and mobility, and is no longer using her walker at home. At present, however, Cristi is still completely reliant on using her wheelchair outside of the home.
Cristi was quite athletic when she was in better health, and loved adventure, travel, and the outdoors. She has an incredible, unshakable faith in God which gives her the courage to keep pressing on. Cristi longs to be able to work again, go for walks, and live a more normal, functional life. She has not given up hope in spite of so many set backs.
Cristi has not been able to work at all in 2019 / 2020. However, the high costs of continued chiropractic care and Lyme Disease treatments is prohibitive, which is why I have set up a GoFundMe page to help support Cristi in her pursuit of a hopeful outcome. Cristi will be adding periodic updates to her GoFundMe page in order to keep her prayer and financial supporters updated and informed.
Organizer and beneficiary