LymeLight Foundation Grant Recipient, MatthewMatthew – Back on my Longboard!

Before I was diagnosed with Lyme at the age of 22, I was working 50 to 60 hours a week between my two jobs as a youth pastor and steel fabrication assistant. I was also a very active longboarder and led a team called Pushing for Impact which raised money for nonprofits and causes by getting sponsors and donors for our 20-50 mile rides.

Following my diagnosis, I had to quit my job at the steel shop and reduce my hours significantly at the church to about 5-6 hours a week, as I was no longer physically able to work. I also had to hang up my longboard, which was not only emotionally difficult for me to do, but it was symbolic as well; I was giving up what I loved doing. Shortly after my diagnosis and after a longboard ride, I experienced a significant seizure, which lasted about 45 minutes. I had to move back home with my parents. I was losing my independence and the ability to care for myself.

Faced with the significant financial burden of treatment, we applied for a LymeLight Foundation grant. When I received the grant, it was not only a blessing beyond words, but it was also miraculous timing! Just as costs from doctor visits and testing began to stack higher and higher we received the letter, which changed everything for me.

Since beginning my treatment, I have gone from losing everything in my life and being too sick to leave the house, to working at full capacity at my church, as well as attending college as a full time student earning a degree in digital film production. I currently have a 3.8 GPA, something that was simply impossible a few years ago. I am at a place with my physical health where I am able to do almost all the things I was able to do prior to my diagnosis, even slowly reclaiming my time on my longboard.

We believe I am on my way to remission as many of my symptoms have gone, although some still remain and a few new ones have appeared. But I am now at a place where I know how to take care of myself, advance my healing, and because of the grant, I have the financial ability to do so. Thank you LymeLight Foundation!

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