Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#Giving Tuesday




Today is a very special day.  A day for you to give back to your community. I have organized a fundraiser for #GivingTuesday to benefit the National Capital Lyme Disease Association.




I NEED YOUR HELP! My goal is to reach $2,000. And as a lone fundraiser, this is a lofty goal. No donation is too small and every single $$ is appreciated! *This link will remain active after Dec 3rd. Please help me Take A Bite Out of Lyme Disease!!*

http://www.crowdrise.com/takeabiteoutoflymedisease/fundraiser/amyfitzgerald

The CDC has confirmed 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease in the United States. It is crippling lives and it does not discriminate.  Are you or know someone who is battling Lyme Disease?

My Story and Why this Cause is So Important to Me ~
I have been fighting my own battle with Lyme Disease since I was 25 years old when I woke up one morning feeling paralyzed. It was terrifying not being able to walk. I remember having to fall out of bed and crawl to the bathroom, the morning when my life as I knew it, would drastically change. I spent 6 months on crutches and battled chronic pain and fatigue. I missed work. I couldn't drive because my neck was stiff. I developed iritis in my eye, a painful, inflammatory eye disease. I saw numerous specialists, had gallons of blood drawn, x-rays taken, a CATScan, and a MRI done, and they all came back with no conclusive answer on why I felt like I was dying at such a young age.

I was misdiagnosed. Over and Over again.  First, it was "all in my head" then I had "ankylosing spondylitis" and finally, it was determined I had "fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue," even though I did not technically meet all the criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I was given an RX for Celebrex which I chose not to fill. I was told to give up running and to take up a new sport, like swimming. Throughout the years, I would have good days and bad days and kept the crutches close by my bedside.

Finally, in 2010, my Lyme Disease diagnosis was confirmed. I was treated with oral antibiotics for 2 weeks and was discharged from my doctor.  However, a couple of months later, while training for my first marathon, I was extremely fatigued and my wrists and elbows hurt which was a new pain symptom. I was referred to an infectious disease doctor who prescribed oral antibiotics for 30 days.  When I finished the 30 days of antibiotics, supposedly I was "cured."

In 2013, after a year long episode of annoying, unexplained foot pain, I advocated to my doctor for re-testing of  Lyme Disease. The same 3 bands came up positive on my Western Blot that were positive in 2010. My doctor didn't think I had been cured. She said I was battling chronic Lyme Disease. I have taken oral antibiotics for two months and have had to advocate for continued treatment. It is difficult for a doctor to believe you have Lyme Disease symptoms when you can run marathon's. I am currently exploring holistic treatment options and have found acupuncture to be helpful. My infectious disease doctor has said the next step in my treatment plan is IV antibiotics for 30 days. I am hesitant to begin this treatment because I'm signing myself up for 30 days of no running or cross training. These are two key components that I have discovered to help me live a productive life, unlike so many individuals, living with chronic Lyme Disease.

I started running the distance on Thanksgiving Day 2009. It is a significant day in my life because it was the day that I decided it was time to move again. I saw my husband putting on his running shoes and joined my husband on a run, which had become a foreign concept to me. At each 1/2 mile, he nervously asked me if I wanted to turn back and I said "Let's Keep Going!" I ran 5 miles that day and ran my first marathon less than a year later. I believe that running has saved me from a life of pain. But I battle symptoms of annoying, unexplained foot pain, neuro symptoms -such as brain fog and overwhelming fatigue and my gut is so messed up, I only eat protein, green veggies and that is about it. I can't tolerate sugar (sugar is in EVERYTHING) and even my morning cup of java is not enjoyable to sip anymore.

BUT I CAN RUN THE DISTANCE!! My infectious disease doctor says it is "Unbelievable" that someone with chronic Lyme Disease is able to run a 50 Mile race!!  I just completed my 2nd ultra marathon, the JFK 50 Miler on 11/23/13, to raise awareness of Lyme Disease and to fundraise for the National Capital Lyme Disease Association. Here is the link to the fundraiser that will be active until the end of the year:  http://natcaplyme.org/special-events/50th-anniversary-jfk-50-mile.html

Will you please help me "Take a Bite out of Lyme?" Please donate TODAY using the CrowdRise link and let's find a cure to this disease that is destroying lives. 
http://www.crowdrise.com/takeabiteoutoflymedisease/fundraiser/amyfitzgerald

THANK YOU!



Post a Comment