Katie was diagnosed with ME as a teenager, suffering an illness which caused her to push asides her hopes for the future, leaving her housebound and seemingly fighting a 'never ending flu.' She has tried every remedy and treatment programme available, with no improvement, yet never giving up hope of beating her illness and getting on with her life.
In 2013, things took a sudden and dramatic change for the worse, when Katie became unable to eat solid foods. Within 6 months the change in her was quite shocking, as she dropped to just over 6 stone and was surviving on tiny amounts of protein milkshake and baby food.
Too weak to stand, Katie was relying on 24/7 care provided by friends and family, who helped her to wash, use bedpans and eat tiny amounts of her liquid diet.
Her sensitivity to light, sound and touch meant that she spent almost all of her time alone in a darkened room, and nobody could offer any comfort.
There is absolutely no doubt that Katie was weeks from death when, in early 2014, we became aware of a number of people in the US who described what she was suffering word-for-word. Symptoms most other ME sufferers hadn't mentioned, including the inability to digest food, intense sinus pain and an overwhelming feeling of being poisoned were all described. And these people were recovering by relocating to a desert environment... to avoid mould and chemicals.
Despite being too ill to travel, despite knowing the exertion may kill her, Katie agreed to move to the North Norfolk coast in search of cleaner air (see cover photo). A private ambulance arrived to relocate her as gently as possible, and so the Avoidance Journey began. Within days, Katie's health very gradually began to return, most notably with her ability to eat again.
As the British winter began to close in, Katie was strong enough to be moved - by road - to what we all hoped was a pristine location in the Tabernas Desert, Spain. The gruelling journey, and Katie's agreement to give up her life, pets, home and everything she knew is testiment to both her mental strength and justified belief in this approach.
Sadly, on arrival in Tabernas, it soon became apparent that nearby olive farming was responsible for Katie's health taking a turn in the wrong direction... and having recovered a little already, her reactions were so much more intense. They now included stupors - seizure-like episodes which rendered her unable to move or speak, and crippling agony.
The last fifteen months have been spent trying to find a location where Katie can rest and be safe. However, it has become quite apparent that she is now too reactive to be in Spain, due to the extensive agriculture and associated pesticide use. As such, she has not yet had the opportunity to practise true mould and chemical avoidance, which was the sole reason for embarking on this journey.
Kate should have died in 2014, but a change in location and practising mould/chemical avoidance saved her life. She is now able to eat a little, dress and wash herself, however is still requiring 24/7 care. Each day the wind blows across an olive grove, her body reacts violently, meaning there isn't the chance for a sustained improvement in her condition.
But the money is running out. Despite proving beyond all doubt that this is the answer, Katie's life is still at risk, due to a lack of finances.
2016 will go one of two ways:
1. Due to lack of funds, Kate will be forced to return to the UK. This will ultimately result in her death. Suicide is the 'preferred' end result, the other being from toxic overload.
2. Enough funds are raised to get Kate to the US; to a location where many others have experienced a recovery which has seen them rejoin society and be able to become self-sufficient once again.
This is where you can help!
Option 2 seemed like a pipe dream only weeks ago. But due to the kindness of friends and strangers, there's now the option of a place to stay, and the transport costs are almost covered. However, to set up the living conditions required, we still need to raise around £7,000.
This isn't a huge charity raking in thousands a day. And it's only one person's life. But the story that results will either be tragic or incredible, and if incredible, it could help so many others in years to come.
If you're in a position to help - absolutely any donation would be hugely appreciated - please do. Even if you are not in a position to make a financial contribution, I urge you to share this story with your friends.
Why Katie chose this approach
Follow Katie on Facebook
(Please be patient - Katie is not well enough to update on a regular basis)
Thank you for reading and for your continued support.
A huuuge thank you to every single person who has donated and supported the fundraisers over the last two years. This money will be put aside for Katie's MECU, which will essentially be a stripped out van containing no plumbing or chemically-treated materials, and is being organised for when she arrives in the U.S.
Meanwhile, we hope you'll continue along this journey with us, as medical bills, daily needs and care are very expensive, and every penny raised is going towards Katie's comfort. The page will be left up and all donations remain hugely important and massively appreciated.
The support shown here is the reason Katie is alive and can continue to fight this battle. Progress is also being made in research which has pointed to faulty immune receptors in people suffering from this illness, which could explain why some people are so sensitive to moulds and chemicals, whilst others are not. Let's hope that one day soon, some real medical help will be available.
Thank you all so much!
Can you spare a couple of quid? We are SO CLOSE!
Thanks to an amazingly generous anonymous donator, donations received by Feb 28th will be matched, up to a maximum of £1000!
Every little will help twice as much this month - please please give what you can. The target is within reach and Katie desperately needs a van to live in as she's reacting badly to buildings and deteriorating rapidly.
Thanks in advance!
You are more than overdue an update, for which we apologise.
Katie is now in Portugal after suffering a devastating reaction in Spain - losing the caravan to mould, and no longer tolerating the local pesticide spraying.
The air in the natural park she's staying in has proved better so far, however her tolerance to buildings - many of which are mouldy - is very low. As a result, the van we were raising funds to purchase may need to be purchased for use in Portugal, otherwise quite simply Katie will never be strong enough to make the trip to the U.S.
More urgently, Katie has also lost the ability to eat once again. I'm sure I don't need to explain how dangerous this is - it was the reason she very nearly lost her life before leaving the U.K. The best option appears to be an elemental diet - pre-digested formula used for tube feeding. This will allow her digestive system to rest and hopefully heal a little, whilst ensuring she has the nutrients she needs to survive.
However, this diet is expensive. For a 2-3 week period we are looking to need to spend around £800... which will have to come from the fundraising pot. This is being done reluctantly but as I'm sure you all understand, keeping Katie alive is the number one objective of this journey! Her determination, resilience and bravery is the reason she is still here today, but she cannot do this without the help of her friends and the kindness of strangers.
You all deserve to know where the money you've kindly raised and donated is going. I trust you'll all support this urgent change of plan.
This leaves us approximately £3000 short of the original £10k goal. ANY help in making sure we reach this in 2017 would be massively appreciated. Each donation - no matter how small, helps to maintain momentum and encourages us to keep going, knowing people are still behind this crazy journey to save a life!
In 2016, a few people set up a small monthly direct debit into Katie's Journey account - the cumulative effect of which was fantastic. If anyone wishes to help in the same way this year - even if it's a £5 a month - please contact me for the details.
Thank you all for your continued support and here's to a great 2017!
Hi Katie, I am very touched by your story, and being an alternative allergy specialist I would like support you in ways I can. First of all I like to pass on some information, recommending a few alternative treatments, if you want to find solutions to your severe chronic symptoms. I think chasing after a safe place to live, is a more than daunting task and path. I am aware that you have tried every remedy and treatment programme available. However looking further afield there might be a few more avenues... Allergy Antidotes I have trained in Allergy Antidotes with Sandi Radomski and am deeply impressed with the extensiveness of her work and the results she gets. Allergy Antidotes is a comprehensive systems for assessing, identifying, and treating allergies / substance sensitivities, eliminating undesirable physical and emotional symptoms. Sandi Radomski, the creator of Allergy Antidotes is also co creator of Ask and Receive. (www.allergyantidotes.com and http://askandreceive.org ) Both systems are highly successful in treating and reducing symptoms from allergies and environmental sensitivities. Sandi offers consultation sessions for therapy by telephone or Skype, so no travel involved. www.allergyantidotes.com/contact-us.html The other therapy you may want to investigate is 'The Bob Beck Protocol'. Dr. Robert Beck developed a simple electronic device which has been proven to destroy virtually all known bacteria, viruses and fungi instantly. www.electronichealing.co.uk/bob_beck_protocol.htm The protocol is a four stage/step treatment modality, that can be used at home. This protocol not only kills or disables microbes in the body, many people find relief from severe chronic illnesses and diseases. There are extensive videos, including testimonials on YouTube under Bob Beck protocol. (I do hope you are avoiding any form of yeast in your diet) With best wishes Ute (Allergy Link, UK)
Please get tested for Lyme disease! Very similar symptoms join the Essex lyme group and uk Lyme group they will help you!
Have you ever considered faroe island? It's beautiful islands, surrounded by the water. I can imagine there would be little to no chemicals there as they do not farm the land.
Can you please tell me where this place is in the U.S.? : "to the US; to a location where many others have experienced a recovery which has seen them rejoin society and be able to become self-sufficient once again." Please tell me--I am sick, too.
Payment sent to firstname.lastname@example.org paypal account. Good luck Katie wish u all the best, hope you will feel better soon xx
Yes, there is. I paid through PayPal. The money goes to the PayPal account of Becca Hans. You can wire it by entering her email address. email@example.com
Is there a PayPal option for go fund me?