Elijah – A Future of Endless Possibilities
I have been sick most of my life. Though no one was looking for symptoms of tick borne illness at the time, I remember having symptoms as early as five years old. Fast-forward about 15 years, I had become so sick with advanced, late-stage, neurological Lyme disease and co-infections that I could barely work or attend online college classes, let alone take care of myself.
I moved back home with my mother. At this point, I had a hunch that I had a tick borne infection. When I returned home, I was able to see a fantastic Lyme-literate doctor who used a combination of herbal and antibiotic therapies. But I was unsure how I would afford the $400 needed for doctor’s visits and supplements each month. My mother was a single mother, and I knew we were quickly accumulating more debt.
I began searching online for financial aid for people my age with tick borne illness and found the LymeLight Foundation. I figured it could be a long shot, but applying was something I could do to alleviate a situation I was otherwise helpless to change.
I was surprised with being awarded LymeLight grant which came in 3 increments! These funds have allowed me to continue getting adequate care, which we could not have afforded on our own. Two years ago, I was about 20% functional and a year ago, I was 50% functional. Today, I am able to work 40 hours a week, and though I am still treating, I have a quality of life I never knew was possible.
Turning the corner on 25 years old, I have graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona. I became a crucial part of a team in public health that is working on the COVID-19 pandemic and I applied for my Master’s in Public Health in epidemiology and got accepted. I have become an advocate for those with Lyme and tick borne illnesses, helping organize the virtual Lyme march of 2020. I also met a wonderful soul I am proud to call my Fiancé. None of this would have been possible without the monetary contributions from the LymeLight Foundation. I will forever be grateful to LymeLight, my doctors, and those who have been rocks in supporting me during this time.