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This fundraiser ended on 01/31/12

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This is Naomi Stein's Lyme treatment fund. The funds will be used for medical costs and related expenses not covered by insurance.

Most people who know me know I have Lyme disease.

I have learned to cope with this illness on a daily basis. I have learned my limitations, and how to pace myself. But every day I face a decision: curl up and grieve my pain or actively pursue health and life.

However, after such a long period of time I'm left to wonder, How do I COPE with this disease year after year?

My GOAL is to pursue my dreams: spend the holidays with my family, take guitar lessons, train my dogs in agility, and start my own business - but the reality is the opposite.

This year brought a few dramatic changes to my life. In February I began having daily seizures. For two months I couldn't drive as the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. After a spinal tap it was discovered that the Lyme had entered my nervous system, and a PICC line was placed for IV antibiotic treatment.

However, my local infectious disease doctor only treated to prevent cardiac problems, and never guaranteed a reduction of my current symptoms.

Thankfully my seizures stopped, but I still had severe daily headaches, stabbing pain in my eye, blurred vision, and nerve pain. I finished treatments in pain, with no hope that my life would ever be different.

Hippocrates said, "Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." So with the help of several Lyme organizations, I began to actively pursue treatment from a Lyme-literate doctor who would aggressively treat the disease.

A doctor in Pensylvannia was the first to give hope. He stated, "You may be in treatment for a year or more, but by the time you are finished you will be symptom-free."

However, I have a long road ahead of me before I will "feel normal." I am looking at approximately $350 worth of medical expenses monthly (after insurance) for the next 12+ months. My doctor is almost 4 1/2 hours away.

I hope to continue to work as much as possible, but the treatments are getting progressively more harsh. I'm in the second month of treatment with this doctor, and already spend every day vomiting and in pain. So, while my medical expenses increase, my ability to provide is diminished.

I am often asked what people can do for me. At this point, I need the most help financially. In lieu of Christmas gifts this year, a small donation, gas card, or even a box of probiotics would be the most helpful.

I am so grateful for those of you who have already sacrificed time and finances to help. The rides to an out-of state doctor, rides to work for 2 months this spring, phone calls and texts from out-of-state family - I couldn't do any of this without you. You give me the strength and inspiration to move forward.
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