Help Sarah Beat ME/CFS

$1,210 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 11 people in 19 months
One afternoon, I woke up from a nap and thought I had food poisoning.

Ten days, and three doctor’s visits, later, that generalized, nauseated feeling in my stomach had concentrated itself into a fist-sized ball of intense pain in my right flank.

That was nine years ago.  And I have been living with that pain every day since.

After consulting with countless doctors in 12 different specialties, the cause of that pain is still unknown. They only know it stems from an incurable, neurological illness called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a more severe cousin to the better known fibromyalgia.

ME attacks the body in two ways, by causing pain and fatigue.  And so far, the only treatment is to address the symptoms.  Which means pain medications and periodic nerve-blocking injections.  Both treatments help keep the pain from rising to a level inspiring thoughts of suicide, but the pain never goes away.  Both treatments are inadequate and imperfect solutions.

There is also no treatment for the exhaustion caused by ME and its constant pain.  I sleep at least ten hours every night, and often nap during the day, only to wake up feeling more tired than when I went to sleep.  And if I should over-exert myself one day, I can spend days or weeks paying for it by barely being able to get out of bed.

I can't even shower regularly, let alone hold down a job, maintain meaningful relationships or pursue my dreams and passions.  I squeeze what I can out of each day, but it is a hollow shell of a life.  And yet it is the only life I have.  S o, I will not give up on it.

I have decided to try other types of treatment... anything and everything outside the realm of “Western medicine.”  Recently I visited a naturopathic doctor who gave me a holistic, IV infusion of vitamins, minerals and fluids.  The treatment dramatically decreased my pain levels almost immediately and without any adverse side-effects.  And for the first time in nearly a decade, it gave me hope.

However, the treatment is expensive and needs to be repeated frequently, weekly for the time being.  And it is not covered by insurance.

This is where I need your help.  Either through donations or purchasing my art.

If you are a fan of my art, I want you to know I have abandoned the traditional, fine art photography model of limited edition print sales in favor of selling more affordable prints through my Red Bubble store .  Any profit I make from those sales will also go towards funding my treatment.  And improving my health means I will be able to create more art.  So, if you'd like to donate but would rather get something tangible for your money, this is the solution for you!  :)  (For anyone who has previously purchased prints, those are higher quality than what Red Bubble can produce and will remain what I use for gallery shows and other limited edition series.')

A life of pain and never-ending sickness is no way to live.  But to know there is hope and a potential way out is unspeakably precious and powerful.  I just need a little help reaching it.  The amount I have set this fundraiser's goal to will cover approximately six months of infusions.  So, please give if you can.  And if you cannot, which I understand, I would so appreciate it if you shared this on your social media.

For those of you who do give or share, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Again, my Red Bubble shop can be found herehttps://www.redbubble.com/people/sarahallegra
 In it, you can find prints along with a wide variety of items (mugs, scarves, phone covers and much more) with my images on them.

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Thank you so, so, SO MUCH to each and every person who has contributed to my GoFundMe campaign. I️ truly cannot tell you how deeply I️ appreciate it, and how much it warms my heart. I️ thank you all.

I️ am continuing with my weekly infusions and they continue to help me. They help me sleep better, take my pain down a bit and even give me a little more energy. Mostly, I️ just feel GOOD after them, which is saying an enormous amount. It’s truly incredible the difference I️ feel.

I️ have been a vitamin/supplement taker for pretty much my whole life, but having these wonderful ingredients delivered straight into my bloodstream is a whole other level of vitality. I️ feel like I️ can actually feel the vitamins and minerals soaking into my cells, the vitamin C cleansing everything and leaving my body shiny and sparkly in its wake. There is no amount of pills I️ could take orally to get the same effect; I’ve tried. I️ am so, so grateful to have finally been able to try these and that they are helping so much. As I️ said on Facebook, I️ don’t feel like I’m slowly dying anymore. I️ am still a long way from feeling healthy, but that difference alone is HUGE. I️ feel like there’s real hope for me for the first time in a very, very long time and that is a profound change.

Starting next week, I️ am going to try adding a different infusion to my mix and alternating it with the current Myers Super Cocktail. This new infusion works to support your mitochondria, which has been suspected as having a huge role to play in what goes wrong in bodies with ME for many years. I’m slightly nervous to deviate in any way from what I️ know is helping, but I️ really do think this is worth trying. If my mitochondria are really at the heart of what’s wrong with me, this could do a world of good! It costs about the same as the infusion I’m already getting, so I’m going to try alternating them every other week (assuming my body responds positively to the first round of them).

My naturopath is also making a list of bloodwork she’d like to have run on me which I’m hoping I️ can take to my GP and have his office perform, so it’s covered by insurance that way, otherwise I’d be paying out of pocket for it all. She would be looking at my hormones (FINALLY) along with how my adrenals are (probably not) functioning and a few other things that could solve some mysteries. I️ will keep you updated as I️ find things out!

As always, a great big hug and thank you to all you wonderful people who are helping me, from my close family and friends to people I’ve never even met in person. I️ cannot tell you how much this means to me!

<3 <3 <3
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$1,210 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 11 people in 19 months
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