An Irish woman needs help urgently to raise funds for life-saving treatment
An Irish woman has launched an incredible online campaign to raise vital funds to save her life.
Denise Ryan moved to Toronto in 2009 to embark on a new life.
During the first two years, the now 32-year-old made loads of friends and great memories. Things started going downhill during the last two years of her adventure when Denise was struck with inexplicable illnesses.Denise writes:
“I spent the last two years of my Canadian adventure going to doctors and consultants, as my health kept going downhill. I had to come home to Ireland because my illness was getting out of control. I was devastated because I had just been accepted into college in Toronto and was so excited to start learning a new career. Instead, I spent the next year back home going to more doctors and hospitals searching for answers, searching for help.”
After months of testing, Denise was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“My blood tests also showed numerous other bacterial and viral infections, including Ehrlichia, Strep, Epstein Barr Virus, Chl. pneumonia, Anaplasma Phagocytophilum and the Coxsackie Virus. I feel like I got hit by a truck all the time due to such a heavy viral load” says Denise.
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that can affect the skin, joints, heart, and the nervous system.
According to TickTalkIreland.org, The symptoms of Lyme may vary according to the stage of disease and can range from mild to severe, depending on the immune system of the sufferer, stress, length of infection as well as the level of co-infections in the body such as Bartonella, anaplasmosis & babesia. Some people may have asymptomatic Lyme disease with no symptoms present, however, symptoms may emerge months or years after the initial infection.
As Denise went so long without a diagnosis, thing progressed to a life-threatening state.
“I have gastroparesis, Lyme arthritis, severe osteoporosis and muscle wasting. I've also developed serious neurological symptoms as the Lyme bacteria has spread to my central nervous system. Without proper nutrition, my immune system can't fight the disease and my body can't rebuild itself.”
Luckily there is treatment available but it’s only currently available in Seattle.
Denise spent 3 months last year over there having treatment.
“As I contracted Lyme disease in North America, where the bacterial strains are different and more aggressive than those in Europe, they have a much greater knowledge, experience, and understanding of the lifecycles of the bacteria. They are incredibly well versed in which medications to use and when to treat the infections and avoid bacterial resistance to the antibiotics” says Denise.
“During treatment there was the first time I started to feel improvement, and to feel like I had hope. But I couldn't stay as I went on a Visa Waiver program and couldn't afford to come home and go back. So the progress I was beginning to make, was lost, and my health has been quickly declining again” she continues.
Determined to get through the tough illness, Denise has started a GoFundMe to help her seek additional treatment.
“I'm determined to get through this and come out the other side, no matter how hard a road it is,” she says.
Earlier this month Denise turned 32 and was featured on Humans of Dublin.
“It's very hard to know whether to break down or celebrate when you don’t know if this birthday will be your last one. I did a bit of both. After spending the morning getting blood drawn and doing urine tests, I sat by myself and tears just came flooding out. Keeping up hope while trying to deal with everything, and working so hard fundraising, means I have to suppress a lot of stuff. So I felt a bit of a weight lift after letting out some pent up confusion, frustration and fear at all of this” she wrote on the day.
Support Denise HERE.