$16,825 of $25,000
152 donations

I'm starting this fundraiser on behalf of my brother Josh Abel, who has been courageously fighting Lyme Disease for almost 20 years.

     He has a tenacity unlike any other person I know, and continues to fight to live, driven by a relentless desire to help make the world a more just and enlightened place. He continues to fight despite his debilitating illness, constant psychological suffering and financial hardship.
     He has spent the last three and a half years diligently working his way through graduate school in order to receive a masters in public policy (with an emphasis on international development). He chose to pursue this education because he was determined to help end injustice, poverty, and neglect for countries and people outside the mainstream. His moral courage, unconventional mind, brave and questing spirit make him quite a rare man in this world. For all of these reasons, my brother is a man worth saving. His life is not only of great value to the people that love him, but to the humanitarian spirit.
     Josh is not only diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but MSIDS (multi-systemic infectious disease syndrome) as well. His current symptoms include muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, insomnia, discomfort associated with talking, irritability and sensitivity to light and sound. He currently weighs 150 lbs., about 40 lbs. below what is a normal, healthy weight for him. He has three tick-borne infections, an additional (parasitic) pathogen, 2-3 viruses, a fungal infection, a substantially compromised immune system, digestive system complications (including malabsorption, IBS, GERD and extensive food allergies), endocrine problems and possibly diabetes insipidus.
     All money raised will go directly to Josh to help pay for doctor's visits, tests, medications, supplements, medical procedures, and basic living expenses such as food, health insurance and transportation. Specialty tests are often required to both guide treatment and increase the likelihood that the insurance company will cover the prescribed drugs.  These tests are both often quite expensive and generally performed by out-of-network labs, meaning that insurance ends up covering little of the cost. The best Lyme-Literate MDs in this country, including Josh's, charge a great deal per visit and don't take insurance, meaning that much of the cost of these visits is not covered. The necessary drugs are often very expensive and not covered by insurance. In addition, the only way to effectively treat advanced infection of the nervous system, the primary site of infection in Josh, is with IV drugs, which are particularly expensive and unlikely to be covered.

     The projected amount for just the cost of the IV antibiotics for six months is $16,200, which would only be part of his treatment. Otherwise, his monthly expenses are estimated at $3,000/month.  Note that this figure does not include the payment of rent.  Josh has been staying with me here in Los Angeles for a month now, which prior to his arrival, is the length of time my landlord said would be an acceptable period of time for him to remain here.  So he may not be able to stay here much longer. Otherwise, he is able to stay with a friend in Long Beach for a month, and he may be able to stay with a friend in Riverside, at least for a little while.

     Unfortunately, Josh was not going to get his health care needs met by Medi-Cal.  So. he has just purchased coverage through the new California health insurance marketplace.  Because his (lack of) income qualifies him for Medi-Cal, however, he is not eligible for any government insurance subsidies.

     Josh will be applying for governmental financial assistance soon.   If approved, he would end up receiving about $600/month, but not until about a year from now, though he would also likely ultimately receive "backpay" for the months between application and approval.

     It is uncertain at this time how long it will take in order for Josh to become well enough to work. We will continue to give updates on how this money has been useful for Josh's treatments and his progress. I can't express to you how much help is currently needed and how grateful we are for any donations you are able to make during this period.  Josh is unable to turn to credit anymore, and my mom and I are unable to meet more than a very small fraction of his needs.

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