Help Save Alinta's Life

For: Alinta McMurdo
VIC, Australia
Organizer: Dianne Hayes
Help Save Alinta's Life (Alinta McMurdo)
$4,665
of $22,000 goal.
Raised by 35 donors
21% Complete

The Story

My daughter Alinta was bitten by a tick at 10 years old, she is now 27 and severely ill. She has been diagnosed with Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease and Bartonella infection. Both are multisystemic bacterial infections. The government in Australia won't allow treatment for these illnesses so she must go overseas. I have shed many tears at her plight and my only wish is for her to have a chance at a healthy life. Despite being so ill, she cares for death row dogs and dreams of being able to help those living in poverty, and fix the environment. I just want her to be happy and healthy. She has written the following few paragraphs:

My symptoms are severe and extensive. I don't have enough room to go into them all in detail. I need over 12 hours of sleep a day but still wake up just as tired as when I went to sleep. Daily I have to fight exhaustion until my body gives up and collapses. Any physical or emotional output takes many days to recover from. Some days I have to choose between showering or eating as I don't have the energy for both. I take numerous pain killers, but I still have constant excruciating pain all over my body. My muscles frequently spasm, shake and jerk. Joint hypermobility has caused a lot of dislocations and painful bursitis in my hips. Most days I cycle through severe sweating and shaking as I am unable to control my temperature. My heart and lungs are showing signs of infection too. At times I struggle to breathe and my heart rate is very high and blood pressure low. I have constant stomach pain and nausea, and I often vomit, leading to weight loss. I have been diagnosed with Gastritis and IBS resulting in a lot of intestinal pain and upset. I have gone through bladder biopsies and botox injections to combat bladder pain and incontinence. The specialists say that my body is attacking itself as it can't recognise the bacteria. I have been diagnosed with Grave's Disease, and I have been told to expect more autoimmune conditions if this infection isn't controlled. My immune system is weak; even a basic cold can set me back months. Along with pain and fatigue, cognitive dysfunction is one of the more debilitating symptoms. All my thoughts are obscured by a thick fog. I struggle to think, and I forget even basic words. I have a wheelchair to get around shopping centres and need help with even simple chores. I recently had an episode where I experienced bronchial spasms and couldn't breathe. I lost my hearing and vision, collapsed on the ground and experienced paralysis. I don't want to go through that again, but the only way to ensure that doesn't happen is to treat the infections.

There's a clinic in Cyprus which offers a combination of Ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), to kill the bacteria and give my immune system the boost it needs to get rid of this infection for good. The results of others who have gone and returned are extremely positive, but it's long, expensive, and on the other side of the world. As someone living week to week on a disability pension, I simply can't afford the costs myself. I need to take a carer who'll look after me when I'm not at the clinic. The airfares, accommodation, and the cost for the 6 weeks of treatment all add up, and I need to raise $22,000 AUD just to cover it. This is not a holiday. I'll be spending all day Monday to Saturday in the clinic, and my Sundays will likely be spent asleep while my body recovers. When I return home, the recovery will be long and hard. I will have to go through rehabilitation to build up the muscles that have wasted away for years.

Every donation no matter how small gets me closer to Cyprus, good health and a life. So any amount you can give means the world to me. I know not everyone is able to donate, but please share my story. Prolonged severe illness means I don't have a big social network, please lend me yours, and help save my life.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 15, 2018

Posted on January 15, 2018

I’m starting off the new year with some great news. I have used the money donated so far to pay the deposit for treatment in Cyprus. I have booked treatment for October this year. I have some amazing family members who are contributing towards the expenses for Cyprus but I need to raise more to ensure that I can pay for everything needed. I want to send out a big thank you to everyone who has donated and shared, without you, this would just be a distant dream. I have thanked everyone individually who has donated, but I can’t thank those of you who did so anonymously. Just know, I really appreciate your kindness. This is a lifesaving trip for me. The immensity of that is so hard to explain. I desperately want a life I can live, and not just suffer through. Your generosity is helping me to get the treatment that will allow me to do that. Please keep sharing my fundraiser with everyone you know, every share and every donation gets me that much closer to Cyprus and treatment that can save my life. 

Love Alinta x


Posted on December 23, 2017

Posted on December 23, 2017

“You don’t look sick”. If I had a dollar for every time I have been told this, then this fundraiser wouldn’t be needed. What does sick even look like? Why do people expect to see my extreme pain, immense fatigue, racing heart rate, nausea etc etc? I don’t ask a cancer patient to see their tumour, or a heart disease patient to see their heart, so why am I expected to justify how sick I am constantly? There are leading doctors who treat tick infections and cancer who have said that late stage neurological infections (like mine) have a lower standard of living than cancer, heart disease, diabetes and various other conditions. Yet, I still get to hear that people don’t believe I’m sick, or don’t believe I’m sick enough to not be at some event because someone they know who had cancer can do it. Why do people automatically assume I’m lying rather than seeing that I’m actually suffering terribly if I can’t do something basic that a healthy person can? I won’t leave the house if I’m vomiting, too weak to walk or crying out in pain. You will only see my worst days if you live with me and everyone else sees me at my best.

Christmas is a particularly hard time to be sick. There is so much pressure to attend every Christmas event, but my body cannot do it. I feel incredibly guilty that I can’t do what a healthy person can, but if it were as simple as will power, then I would be there. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Every cell in my body is sick, and just because you cannot see that by looking at me, does not make it any less true. Judgement from others weighs heavily on me, especially at this time of year when I’m already struggling to make it through each day. Christmas should be a time for compassion, so please understand that if I’m not at an event, it’s because I cannot physically be there. I really hope that treatment in Cyprus next year will make Christmas time much less of a burden for me - I would love to enjoy Christmas again. If you can help by donating, I would so appreciate that. Sharing this fundraiser also helps a lot. I am sick in bed today, but every donation and kind word helps to keep my spirit up and hope alive.

I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday period x


Posted on November 20, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on November 20, 2017

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who has donated and given me a chance at a new life. The fundraiser has reached $3000, and I am so grateful for that. 

One thing my doctors consistently comment on, is how upbeat and positive I am, despite all the suffering I go through. I try really hard to stay positive and to hope for a better future but some days get the better of me - today was one of them. Unfortunately, my air conditioning is broken which has led to many sleepless nights lately. A fan just doesn't compensate for severe night fevers and sweats that I get. The heat also impacts my heart rate and makes it even faster than it already is. I saw the cardiologist about this and had an echocardiogram which showed that the general structure of my heart is fine, and that it is the nerves causing my high heart rate. The medication that can help this is not something I can take, so I have to try to not do anything that will raise my heart rate higher than it already is, that's not always possible though. Heat and physical exertion make cause my heart rate to rise to I spend all my time right now either sleeping or lying on the couch just trying to get by. Going to the doctor or seeing family can give me a week of payback, which means many days of excruciating symptoms. Just a quick visit to the post office today was enough for my body to go in to complete melt down, I was sweating profusely, obviously red and swaying as I was so close to passing out so I had to leave. The post office should be a simple errand for a 28 year old to do, but it is too much for my body to deal with. It's emotionally hard to deal with because I didn't ask for this and I have done everything in my power to get better. That's why treatment in Cyprus means so much to me. I keep cyprus in my mind every second of every day. The physical suffering I go through as I lay on the couch is still immense, but the emotional toll is made a lot lighter when I remember that Cyprus is a reality and that I will get there for treatment. Every donation, message and social media share means so much to me, because it is my life on the line. I will never be able to show how truly thankful I am to those of you who have helped with this fundraiser, because it means so much to me.

Please continue to share this fundraiser far and wide because I am in desperate need of treatment and the sooner I get it, the fewer days I have to spend suffering. Tomorrow is a new day where I will pick myself up and return to being positive and hopeful, and I have every one of you to thank for that. 

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