​ Hi everyone and thank you
for stopping by!     
          Today, I am reaching out to you, in the hopes I can beat the monster of a disease that has been growing inside me for over nine years, making me incredibly ill, and slowly but surely deteriorating my body. Yes, I am just 18, but this all started at around the age of 8. Before this, I was a very active, lively and healthy child. I had big plans for my future.  I still do and this is where your help and support will be gratefully received with a huge THANK YOU!  

My Story

 
       I started to suffer from headaches, which became more and more severe as time passed by and turned into debilitating migraines. I simply could not function. I slowly lost most of my independence and social life. I visited doctor after doctor, took medication after medication (most of them with drastic side effects), followed by countless blood tests, painful and invasive procedures, without ever getting any better. My parents brought me to numerous specialists in various countries. No medication, not even the strongest ones ever brought me relief.

       The migraines were there to stay, limiting and then removing entirely, my ability to attend school. New symptoms started creeping in. Musculoskeletal issue, severe pain, neurological damage, spinal deterioration and damage, POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a cardiac syndrome), a gastro vascular diagnosis, arthritis, joint damage, constant non stop nausea, fainting, and far more.













       During all this, my Mom was relentlessly researching for what could be the trigger and underlying cause of my suffering and actually found two of my potentially life-threatening diagnosis.

       Through all of this finally surfaced a potential diagnosis. A virulent, dangerous, disease that causes absolute havoc and pain in a body. It is said to be the new (and considered bigger) HIV epidemic. Lyme Disease. It is a systemic, tick-borne disease in which a type of bacteria can attack every single one of your organs, including the brain, heart, liver, and more, explaining my plethora of illnesses and my neurological damage. As all of these are vital organs and damage to them can cause death, this illness is severe. This epidemic affects hundreds of thousands of people each year, including personalities such as Avril Lavigne, Ally Hilfiger, Ben Stiller, George W. Bush, Bella Hadid, Daryl Hall, and myself!

       Despite the expensive testing costs and after the ten’s of thousands of dollars already spent by my parents to figure out what was wrong with me (travel costs, testing, doctors not covered by insurance, etc.), a new test was ordered and the result came in: Multi Systemic Infectious Diseases Syndrome, (MSIDS) a.k.a. Lyme disease with several co-infections. This is NOT a curable disease. My Lyme disease was caught very late due to uneducated and unwilling doctors. I had to fight just to get the testing done. Had this not happened, my illness would not be nearly as grueling as it is. I take about 45 pills a day, IV medications, antibiotics, and other complex procedures to try and help me.













        
























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       With all this came many surgeries, 10 exactly, between 2011 and 2016 These included major head surgery, along with in patient stays, ER visits, needles poked in various parts of my body, etc. Talk about a huge headache; no pun intended!

       The list is long and I won’t bore you with the many more symptoms and conditions, but I felt you needed a bit of a background in order to comprehend the pains I endure and still go through.
    

    Now, we get to the more lighthearted part, YAY! Before my Lyme diagnosis was confirmed and due to the increase in my disabilities, it became evident that I needed a Service Dog, specifically trained to assist with my disabilities and alert me before I suffered a major medical event, fainting while crossing a road for example. This is where my golden retriever, Kuzco, enters the scene, along with “Expanding Intelligence”, the amazing program that is currently training him to become my sidekick and “Personal Nurse”. Not only will he alert for migraines, blood sugar, and cardiac alert and even guide me when symptoms make me too dizzy to walk safely.

 His training will take 1.5 years at a cost of 20’000 USD, and he will be ready hopefully by the end of the summer of 2018. I am so thankful, as his presence will offer me increased safety, and he will be crucial to my daily living and existence.

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       This is where I am asking for YOUR help and generosity, as we are trying to raise 20’000 USD. Anything that may be left over will go towards paying for the 50k medical bills we’ve had to pay out of pocket. My Dad works very long hours in order to get me in front of the best doctors and treatments possible to try and cover as much of the costs that he can. My Mom doesn’t work anymore, for her own health reasons which is hard on her and because, well, I am quite the full time job. I will get far worse before I can get better. I know it is difficult for one person to make a big difference when facing such high costs, but I believe that many people, each helping a little, will mean a whole world of change for me. I didn’t want this disease and never would have thought that my childhood would just disappear in front of my eyes.
    
   
       I will end my narrative here, thanking you for your generosity and consideration in helping me. I am hoping you will be willing to share this with your family, friends, dog lovers, co-workers, neighbors, high school sweet hearts, random strangers and anyone else you could think of. I am also hoping my story will raise awareness for tick borne diseases, so this never happens to you or any of your loved ones.













       “Expanding Intelligence”, the program, which trains Kuzco, is going to help manage this fundraiser on my behalf. I invite and ask you to follow their Instagram page, where you can follow Kuzcos’ progress and how they train. You can also follow my own Instagram page, where I do post updates about my journey with Kuzco and my beloved German shepherd Kenya, and my life as a Spoonie.

       Thank you for giving me a chance to get better, so I can pursue my dreams, and gain back my independence with the help of my soon to be partner in crime, Kuzco.

  Now, enjoy the raffles!!


@KenyaplusKuzco
@ExpandingIntelligence

    

-Elisabeth

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