A 33 year old Irish woman, Avril McDonnell, has today stepped up her campaign to raise €30,000 in the hopes of paying for stem-cell treatment in Germany – which may just give her a second chance at life.
Avril, from Phibsboro in Dublin, has been suffering with this elusive debilitating disease since she was 17 after she was bitten by a tick in Co. Mayo.
As the test for Lyme disease is highly inaccurate, she went undiagnosed for 13 years after her results originally came back negative.
Avril, who is unable to work due to the effects of the disease, when energy allows, writes a blog from her bed, apalershadeofbeauty.com.
Her associated social media pages focus on all things beauty, health and well-being related as well as following her personal journey with illness all whilst trying to have a giggle in the process.
Lyme disease is currently the world’s fastest growing vector-borne infection and is spread by ticks.
Avril says the effects both the disease and treatment have had on her body have left her unable to get out of bed most days: “My body has taken one hell of a beating and the infections have kick-started a range of autoimmune conditions. My immune system is so incredibly damaged.”
Avril, a scientist who has had to give up work due to the debilitating effects of Lyme and move home to her parent’s house with her husband, said “I never thought that I would be still be here today, be sicker than I ever thought imaginable and have no career or money. I lost my job because of this.
“We’ve spent every single scrap of money coming in on hospital fees, consultant fees, doctors’ fees, medical tests, medication, acupuncture – you name it.
“I am not entitled to a medical card as my husband Kevin works. I have never asked for money in my life, but this is my only chance to have a normal life. We are really struggling to see a way out without this treatment.’”
There are a number of clinics in Germany that provide specialised treatment that has been proven to transform the lives of Lyme disease sufferers: Infusio Clinic being one of these.
— APalerShadeOfBeauty (@APSOB) June 17, 2018
Through her own experiences with fellow ‘Lymies’, Avril met three women who have all received treatment here and are gaining their lives back as a result.
Avril and husband Kevin started a fundraising page in May 2018, and hope that they can raise enough money this year for Avril to get the life-changing treatment, saying:
“We just want to be able to live our best lives. I want to return to work, we want to move out of my parents’ house and we would love to have children. All of these things are impossible without the treatment.”
“We hope that people will consider making a donation. Once I am better, I want to return to work and dedicate my life to raising awareness of Lyme disease so nobody will have to experience the extent of this debilitating disease like I have.”
“This treatment is our last chance.”
To contribute to the fundraising campaign visit gofundme.com/help-avril-kick-lymedisease.