Raising Hope for Families with Lyme

Ashley GalvanAshley – Aspiring Musician

My whole life changed when I became sick in October 2011. I was 20 years young, now I am 23 years young and am being treated for Lyme disease. Before I got sick, I was attending college but I couldn’t continue due to how sick I felt. I was active in my church, helping with the bus ministry, singing solos and singing in the choir. I was physically fit and I worked out every day. I played drums, guitar and wrote songs and sang daily.

I was misdiagnosed for three years until March 2014. During that time I saw several doctors and had many trips to the emergency room. Some of my symptoms included: being extremely out of breath, brain fog, poor concentration, chronic fatigue, severe anxiety/ panic attacks, and fevers. I started losing hope because I couldn’t get well and my parents were struggling financially due to my medical bills, supplements and special diet. A doctor had recommended I eat gluten, dairy, soy and nut free and if possible organic.

I felt like I was dying and I needed somebody to help me. I felt so desperate and helpless. I knew something was wrong but didn’t have the financial means to get to a great doctor to find out what it was. I wanted my life and health back! So, my mom and her sweet co-workers did some fundraising and raised enough to help me see a gastroenterologist in March of 2014. I thank God for this doctor because he was the one who suggested I had Lyme disease. He stressed I should get tested for it and about 2 weeks later the test came back positive! I had Lyme. I was shocked and scared but also thankful because all the doctors I had seen were telling me I needed to see a psychiatrist.

After I was diagnosed with Lyme my parents and I discovered how much treatment would cost and we were worried. We didn’t know how we were going to be able to get me treated. So, we prayed and LymeLight Foundation popped up on my Twitter feed!

My parents and I hugged and cried together the day I found out I received the grant! I’m very thankful and humbled to receive this grant which will help me get the treatment I need to recover!

Ever since I received a grant, I’ve been able to focus on healing and herxing and not worrying as much about the financial burden and also the physical, mental and emotional burden this disease brings. The grants are paying for me to go see the doctor and for any supplement, specific treatment, or medication the doctor puts me on. Because of the grants I’ve received, I’ve been able to get treatment for the Lyme and co-infections I have, that otherwise wouldn’t be an option for me. My family and I are so grateful!

I’m struggling with loud noise and being around crowds of people due to the anxiety/panic attacks. I haven’t been able to get out of the house much because of the illness but my parents and I are starting to notice really small and slow progress. It takes time to heal and recover from Lyme. I do believe I’m getting closer every day to full recovery from this disease.

We are praying that I get my health back. I would love to be able to enjoy my life again, to be around my family and friends, to be able to attend church and be involved with singing, playing guitar and drums!! I would like to be able to go back to college to pursue my career in music and business. To be able to recover from this challenging disease and see my dreams become a reality would be incredible! I hope to someday give back to LymeLight to help others who are fighting this horrible disease. I can now smile with peace of mind knowing there’s hope!

God bless you all at Lymelight for your love, support and kindness to me. Thank you for helping families who are suffering with lyme! Thank you for giving me hope for my future with these grants.

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