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44 donations

This fundraiser ended on 08/22/11

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Help Wendy heal and get her life back!

Imagine that a family emergency has kept you from sleeping for two nights in a row. You’re beyond tired. Everything around you is a fog. You can’t focus your mind. Loud noises make you jump. You know you’re not safe to drive. Your whole body cries out for rest.

This is how Wendy Beveridge feels every day. Many of you know Wendy, but most of you don’t know her whole story.

Wendy was a normal, active young woman in her late teens and early twenties. She played competitive soccer and loved outdoor adventures like rock climbing in the Sierra mountains and scuba diving at the Oregon coast.

Suddenly, in 1990 when Wendy was 22, she started to feel exhausted from even everyday activities. Eventually she was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or ME, also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) and later tested positive for Lyme disease. She had to give up work and active daily exercise, but by carefully pacing herself through the waxing and waning of the illnesses, she was able to drive, do part-time volunteer work as a mediator, and socialize some with friends.

One common symptom of both ME and Lyme disease is insomnia. In an effort to help Wendy get better sleep, her doctor prescribed a drug called Ativan, which is in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Ativan helped Wendy for awhile, but eventually it stopped working. In 2003, Wendy stopped taking it, only to discover that she slept far worse than before.

At this point, Wendy's physical and cognitive exhaustion became severe and agonizing. Sitting up, following a conversation or a short television program, the sounds of music -- all of these became extremely difficult much of the time. Her emotional mood state was badly affected. Wendy had to hire a caregiver to help her with household chores and shopping. The world closed in on her.

For help, Wendy sought out the top sleep doctors in San Diego. She took various other medications, altered her sleep habits, tried Cognitive Behavior Therapy, meditation, special diets, hypnosis, and other body-mind approaches. A few medications helped for short periods, but nothing worked long term.

Then Wendy discovered a growing body of evidence that benzodiazepines can damage the nervous system and should not be taken for more than four weeks although it was prescribed to her for years. Through research on the internet, Wendy found that there are thousands of others who have had devastating experiences with these drugs and that there is an effort underway to require warning labels to be placed on prescriptions of benzodiazepine-class drugs.

But what if there were a treatment to reverse the damage done by these drugs? When she asked her doctor about this, she received a referral to Dr. Humiston of the Center For Health And Well Being, who uses a cutting-edge treatment called neurotransmitter restoration, or NTR. NTR was first used at high end drug and rehab centers to heal the damage done by illicit drugs. Wendy's story, like thousands of others, was not due to addictive behavior and the medication never made her high. But, like many others, she has been left with serious complications long after stopping the medication.

Unfortunately, NTR is not cheap. It involves specially prepared mixtures of amino acids, which are administered intravenously in ten-hour sessions. This makes it expensive, and it is not covered by Wendy’s insurance. Wendy needs to raise $8,500 for her NTR treatment.

Over 8,000 patients have used NTR and the documented recovery rate is over 80%. Wendy has spoken with a number of patients who have also used NTR for recovery from benzodiazepines with positive results.

Wendy and her doctors are very hopeful about this treatment. She is determined to break her sleep deprivation cycle. She is not only desperate for relief, but she badly wants to return to volunteer again as a mediator, to drive again, to take care of herself, and rejoin life. Let's help her do it!

Please contribute what you can to help Wendy get this treatment as soon as possible. Large donations are fantastic of course and really help! But it's also true that every gift of kindness, no matter how small, helps in BIG ways, when a lot of people pitch in.

Wendy would also love to hear a short message from you on the "hugs" page as well. Let's help Wendy heal and get her life back! It's a beautiful life. Help Wendy reclaim it.
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