A Cork woman living with Lyme disease has been forced to ask the public for donations so she can receive life-saving treatment in the US.
Sophie Moore learned she had chronic Lyme disease three years ago, after travelling abroad to a specialist facility for diagnosis. It came after she had to leave her job and college course due to her illness and became "bankrupt with zero quality of life". Sophie believes there is a "poor understanding" of Lyme disease in Ireland, which is highlighted by the lack of treatment options in the country.
"In the last three years alone I have been misdiagnosed with over thirteen conditions, this is why Lyme disease is known as the great imitator. I have lost track of all the doctors and consultants who have not been able to help me in any shape or form,"Sophie told the Irish Examiner.
Irish health insurance does not cover the costs of treatment for Lyme disease, so Sophie has been fundraising to cover the high costs herself for the past few years.
"In February my health declined rapidly again, making my condition life threatening, so I took the earliest appointment available to me," Sophie says. "I still hadn't enough funds raised for full treatment, it just so happened that there was a cancellation available.
"I flew over to America for my appointment on May 9, in a Lyme disease clinic in Clearwater, Florida." Sophie learned she needs "intensive and comprehensive treatment for at least one year".
"My bill for the first five weeks alone is $31,374. The cost is very expensive due to the complexity of my case," she says.
"I am already running out of funds over here to carry on with treatments, treatments that can ultimately save my life. Treatments will involve several months of various specialist IV therapies to rid my body of the bacterial load that is killing me."
"It is horrible to know that the key to your health and staying alive is in the hands of those who donate to my treatment and cause. As ashamed as I am, in this case I need to put my shame behind me and ask for your help. I need to raise €100,000 for these life saving treatments to rid my body of these infections that are breaking it down.
"I will do anything to live and not have to die when there is a way for me to regain my health and my life. Health is wealth, health is life, health is happiness, health is love, without it all other arenas of our lives suffer greatly.
"I never want anyone to go through what I have had to and the long road ahead of me, awareness and prevention is the only way forward.
"I miss being me, I don't remember what it's like to be normal and genuinely feel like you are going to drop dead any minute. It feels like someone came in and confiscated my brain and tied my hands behind my back to just watch and see life go by without me participating in it.
"I don't even feel like myself anymore, I am a shadow of myself. I miss the old Sophie so much. I can no longer bear to be a prisoner to Lyme disease.
"Please help me to take the shackles off and get treatment that I so greatly need so that I get to make beautiful memories of health and happiness instead of living in the depths of despair."
If you would like to help Sophie you can donate to her fundraising campaign at: https://www.gofundme.com/jzpknw
Alternatively, here is her charity bank account information:
Account name: Fight Back For Sophie
Account number: 42482941
Sort code: 903576
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