Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Go BIG or Go HOME!!!

 I am 34 years old and have suffered from Lyme Disease and its co-infections (Babesia) for the majority of my adult life. Every day I am afflicted with some degree of pain and neurological symptoms such as anxiety, brain fog, memory loss, and confusion. Some days are worse than others to the degree where I am  so weak I cannot walk or get out of bed, I experience shortness of breath/chest pain, involuntary muscle twitches, and Bell’s Palsy. I have attempted to cure my diseases with multiple oral antibiotics, several herbal supplements, and months of IV therapy. These treatments have only suppressed the symptoms. After many years of struggling to hold down a job while fighting these diseases, the symptoms became too severe and I was put on disability in October 2012.
After my Lyme Literate Doctor was recently forced to turn over her medical license, I felt like I had reached a turning point in my treatment and it was time to “GO BIG or GO HOME.” I started researching Lyme treatment centers in the U.S. and after hearing the testimonies of some “Lyme friends” who had been cured ,I made the decision to go to Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Clearwater, FL. Dr. Marvin Sponaugle’s patients have less than an 8% relapse rate and he has treated celebrity Lyme patients such as Yolanda Foster from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The treatment is a six to twelve week full time program. 
 In a manner of speaking, this is my last ditch effort to be cured once and for all. I have decided that I am no longer going to settle for having just a few good days every once in a while. I want to live a “normal,” healthy life! My passion has always been helping others. I believe that I have been given this health struggle to spread Lyme Disease Awareness. When I am cured, I plan on starting a non-profit organization to spread awareness and help raise funds to assist other Lyme patients in receiving life saving treatment.
“At Sponaugle Wellness Institute we practice integrative medicine. We combine the best of western medicine and naturopathic medicine. Our mission is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of our patient’s illness rather than to treat their symptoms. What distinguishes our clinic from other Integrative Wellness Centers is our extraordinary brain expertise. Through treating 7,000 patients with psychological and neurological disorders, we learned that we must first heal the brain to heal the body. The brain controls every organ and system in our body. The integration of modern brain science with anti-aging and functional medicine gives our patients the most holistic medical treatment in America.” (http://sponauglewellness.com/about-us/)
With all this being said, with the help of my husband, we have launched a full blown fundraising campaign to get me to Sponaugle in 3-4 months.  I wanted to write this blog to help other people come up with ideas on how to raise money for their own treatment choices.  
Step 1: Start a GiveFoward Donation website.  GiveForward  You are welcome to have a look at mine to give you an idea of how to set one up. Sarah Buckley's Treatment Fund
Step 2: Brainstorm any and all connections you have to businesses and people with talents such as musicians, artists, and bakers.  Once you put together a list, then sort them by category:
  •  Businesses- Ask these people for donations of products and/or gift certificates for a silent auction
  • Musicians- Ask these people if they would be willing to play a benefit concert for you with the money raised going to your treatment fund.
  • Artists- Ask these people to donate pieces of artwork for you to sell on Etsy (Check out my Etsy store for ideas- LymeMargaritas)
  • Bakers- Ask these people if they would be willing to make some pies/desserts and host a Bake Sale for your fundraiser
Step 3: Time to clean out the closets and do some spring/fall cleaning.  Make a pile of everything you could sell (Clothes, Shoes, CD's, DVD's, Books, Video Games, Furniture, Collectibles, etc...)
  • Clothes/Shoes- These items can be sold at various consignment shops in your town
  • CDs/DVDs/Books- These items can be taken to a used bookstore that has a buy back  program.
  • Video Games- These can be sold at places like Vintage Stock and Game Stop
  • Furniture- This can be sold on Craigslist or in a yard sale
  • Collectibles- These are best sold on Ebay
  • Everything- Have a fundraising yard sale and ask your friends and family to donate items for you to sell!
Step 4: Host a Silent Auction with any donated items you receive.  Be sure you promote your event on Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter!  You can even place an ad in your local newspaper!

Most importantly, don't stress!  Let this be a fun adventure and be creative!  Share some of your fundraising ideas in the comments section so we can all benefit!

And here is my "Make Margaritas" inspiration for today:
 "We are always getting ready to live but never living." 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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