My name is Stacie Van Brandenburg and I am twenty-four years old. When I was 12, my life was radically changed by the single bite of a tick.
Thousands of people every year become infected with the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria, better known as Lyme disease. Many people are lucky and the disease is detected in its early stages, where it can be treated effectively with antibiotics. Others are not so lucky, living with the bacteria in their bodies for months, even years before a symptom appears.
The illnesses and conditions I’ve developed from the bacteria affect my everyday life and are often debilitating. Over the years, doctors have diagnosed me with everything from Lyme Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Disease, neurological symptoms such as anxiety, “brain fog” but worst of all, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and other sleep disorders. I’ve lost count of how many antibiotics, medications and therapies I have tried over the years, all of which have been largely unsuccessful. With my father being a kidney transplant recipient & fighting cancer, my mother working to support the family, but in constant pain after two hip replacements, the cost of medical expenses has had a significant impact on our family. I began to lose hope of ever being able to live a somewhat “normal”, healthier life, but deep down inside, I knew I was not ready to end the fight against Lyme.
After exhausting all treatment options available in North America, I learned about a treatment called, “whole body hyperthermia”. The treatment is not offered anywhere in the United States, but is performed in Germany, specifically for patients fighting Lyme disease. This is not just another treatment, another antibiotic I would take and hope that it works. This treatment kills the bacteria that causes Lyme, as well as other co-infections a tick can transmit (e.g. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, and others), considerably improving a patient’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being each and everyday. Most significantly, it’s effective in 100% of patients — even in those who have tried everything and have had Lyme disease for years. I now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to become healthier by receiving an advanced, state of the art treatment in Germany. For me, the outcome to be gained significantly outweighs the potential side effects.
The only obstacle that stands between me and my health, is raising the money I need for the treatment. Being a member of the Norwood Fire Department, the dept. has generously set up a fund for my treatment and are collecting donations. All donations received will go towards my medical bills; approximately, the $40K I need to travel to Germany to undergo whole body hyperthermia. This will cover the treatment itself (which costs about €1,000 EUR/$1,300 USD per day) for three-four weeks, medications & supplements, and traveling expenses (airfare and transportation to & from airports). Along the way, you can follow me through my journey to living a healthier life before, during and after my treatment as I write about my life with Lyme at www.fightlyme.org
My goal from this treatment is not only to be Lyme-free but to be able to share my story. While my story has been extremely personal and difficult to talk about, there are thousands of other people who have their own story and millions more are at risk. It is essential to bring attention to the need of educating the public about this growing epidemic. Spreading awareness by publicizing my story, I feel, is the greatest contribution I can give. Helping others can be some of the best medicine.
For more information or if you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected]