I have started this GoFundMe on behalf of one of my close friends, Andre LaRiviere. Andre is 22 years of age, and is a friend of many, brother to 3 sisters, and son to Wayne and Nives LaRiviere. Some of you may know by now, Andre has been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease – a cruel, life threatening, elusive, and debilitating illness which remains at the fringes of the medical system in Canada. I ask for two minutes of your day to read Andre’s story and understand where he is at in this uphill battle he faces.
Andre has been thrown some massive curve balls in this life but somehow always finds a way to make the best of things and bounce back, until now that is. He has a big heart on him, it is tough to take the wind out of his sails. If your lucky enough to know Andre, you know he is all about living life more than the average person. His biggest fear in life is not one of many, he isn’t scared of death, but much more scared of not living life to the fullest. That hasn’t always worked out in his favour you could say. Andre has had multiple injuries in his youth, mostly due to motocross. He broke his back in August 2012 at a local mx track compression fracturing his L2-L5. He spent nearly a month in the hospital, and missed most of his senior year in high school with his 9 month recovery. He was nearly paralyzed and required to wear a clam-shell back brace for a long while, but you didn’t see that take the smile off his face. On Christmas Day 2014 he had an appendicitis, which required emergency surgery. He was out snowmobiling in the mountains with his friends within a week of recovery, he couldn't be held back. In august of 2015 he wrecked yet again via motocross, this time out near Hinton, Alberta in a remote location breaking his upper back, a few ribs, and puncturing his lung. Andre was air lifted by stars helicopter ambulance and rushed to the University Of Alberta hospital. Despite all of this Andre was back up and doing what he loved within weeks. It wouldn’t be till a few years later his body started to catch up with his soul. He acquired the nickname “dad” to a lot of his friends at this time. Andre faced a lot of health challenges due to the damage he had done, and it was a real eye opener for him to throttle back his lifestyle. He started to clean up his act and habits for a better life. It was at this time Andre was finally on the right track to starting a brains not back career and getting his health back in line. His eyes opened to a more conservative approach on life, a second chance if you will.
Unfortunately in mid June of 2017, Andre noticed a tick in his arm while doing some yard work right here in St. Albert, Alberta. Without realizing the possible implications, Andre removed the tick, not understanding the seriousness of the situation. Society’s lack of awareness on Lyme disease and its causes have resulted in the worst case scenario for Andre. For what it has done to him in these past months, it has taken years to do for other people. The Lyme has made its way to his nervous system, and now affects his brain. He has gone from being a vibrant, happy, outgoing, energetic, capable and lovable soul, to an individual who is in despair, who is helpless, and whose body is failing. Andre now spends most of his day resting, trying to cope with a multitude of symptoms. A normal day for anyone else is impossible for him now, his symptoms are extremely debilitating, and are worse than you can imagine. Lyme continues to torment and anguish Andre with no remorse, affecting every organ in his body. He now experiences rare, okay hours at best. There are no good days. Despite his multiple efforts to find help within western medicine it has become a reality that they have little to no help for Lyme patients. Doctors can see major abnormality’s with Andre's blood work, and scans of his brain. He has lost 65 pounds since first being diagnosed. There is nothing doctors can do for him besides write prescriptions to mask the pain, and prescribe harmful long term antibiotics to try and slow the infection. They do NOT have the cure, as Lyme isn’t well recognized in Canada, and most parts of the world for that matter.
He now faces a long and difficult road ahead that comes with many unknowns and extremely high medical expenses that are not covered by the Canadian healthcare system. The main approach to treatment is to kill the infection and heal/detox the body to the point the Lyme does not come back, that is much easier said than done, war if you will, 7 days a week 24/7. Andre, family and friends have all been calling around the world to try and find a treatment facility to help him. most facilities range from $100,000-$200,000 plus. Andre has sold almost all of what he owns to help fund his recovery, along with having spent his entire life savings. His parents have made huge sacrifices on his behalf as well. Unfortunately Andre’s parents recently divorced, and it is at the worst time for something like this to happen. To date Andre has undergone extensive visits to hospitals, specialists, and numerous and ongoing doctors with little to no progress. Since, Andre has undergone months of private medical treatment within Alberta at a huge financial burden for him and his family but has not yet prevailed. Andre needs highly intensive treatment to save his life, whether that is locally or out of country. It is absolutely heartbreaking for his parents to see and know what Andre is going through, and be unable to contribute financially to the magnitude of the medical care he requires.
If you are in a place to financially contribute, the LaRiviere family would greatly appreciate the support. We ask that you please keep Andre in your hearts, thoughts, and prayers. All positivity and encouragement is greatly appreciated! Your donations, no matter how big or small, will be of great help for Andre’s medical treatments and travel expenses. If you are unable to contribute financially, please kindly share Andre’s story with all your contacts, via email, Facebook, twitter, etc.
Thank you immensely for taking the time to understand Andre’s journey and for helping us to get our friend, brother, and son back - The LaRiviere family remains in the most humble and greatest of gratitude! We would also like to take this opportunity to raise awareness on this upcoming epidemic.
Kindest Regards From,
Friends, And the LaRiviere Family.
Some helpful links on Lyme…
An overview of Lyme disease, symptoms, tick removal, diagnosis and treatment:
Co-infections (associated infections):
Video: Understanding Lyme and why its so difficult to treat:
Trailer for the documentary 'Under Our Skin'. (Accurate video of a rising epidemic)
- Josh Vandal
- Kaitlin Jones
- Jarret Klim
- T Andrew
- Janet Stewart
Organizer and beneficiary
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