***SEE UPDATES TAB ABOVE FOR IMPORTANT FUNDRAISING AND GOAL UPDATES!Please join the Sweeney Family by bringing awareness about Lyme Disease and it's Co- Infections by taking the "Lyme Challenge!" Please Donate to them as they fight this debilitating disease. Kind words, smiles or prayers are always welcomed and greatly appreciated! No donation is too small. This will make the kids feel like they are not alone! The isolation from lyme disease and the complications
Our goal is to raise $450,000. and awareness about Lyme disease as soon as possible for the Sweeney Kids. This will allow all six children the opportunity to receive the much needed Stem Cell Therapy to heal and regenerate the damaged organs caused by the Lyme Disease and the Co Infections. This treatment will boost their immune system, which has been compromised and crippled, and empower their bodies to fight off the multiple diseases within. This procedure will be lifesaving and they will be able to enjoy a pain free life, start living again and helping others. You can give them this chance so their days won’t consist of medication, treatments, doctors, hospital stays and isolation from their peers.
This is why we need your help……
All the children have Chronic, (Post Treatment) Lyme Disease which has caused multi organ/system involvement. For Sean, Dylan, Bridget and Ryan this disease is already in later stage. Jack and Megan are at the middle stage of but not far behind their siblings showing a progression of symptoms.
At this time they are in a good position and their bodies have been prepped for Stem Cell Treatment. They have been dealing with multiple diagnoses and complications for 6-8 years depending on each child, before getting a confirmed Lyme diagnosis two and a half years ago. Since then they have been under excellent care from Lyme Literate Doctors and are on rotating drug protocols and multiple daily treatments and therapies just to help them function each day. Unlike some diseases/disorders, lyme patients don’t always “appear” sick looking so it’s hard for others to understand what is happening inside.
We are desperately trying to keep the family together during this healing journey even if we don’t raise enough money to treat all six at once. The one constant throughout, is the kids have really been there for each other. As the symptoms have aggressively progressed they know they can face the same fate themselves in a blink of an eye. This opportunity will strengthen and help promote the much needed emotional healing we all need. We now have a viable option and need your help!
What’s Lyme Disease?
Welcome to Lyme Disease 101… it’s known as the “Great Pretender” because it can mimic up to approximately 300 auto immune disease or disorders. This leads patients to be diagnosed with multiple conditions before the Lyme Disease is ever found.
When caught early, with in the first few weeks it is a very treatable disease with a short course of antibiotics. When Lyme goes untreated the bacteria has the opportunity to go systemic, silently starting to wreak havoc on the body.
Lyme Disease is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. This bacterium is a spirochete that borrows deep into tissues and organs.
An infected tick can transmit the spirochete to humans and animals.
There is a raging debate about whether other types of parasitic insects are transmitters or vectors of lyme such as fleas and mosquitos.
There is also a controversy as to whether it can be sexually transmitted, passed through the placenta of an infected mother to an unborn child or if it can be passed via breast milk.
If left untreated it can then become Chronic Lyme.
It can travel from the skin through the bloodstream to joints and organs and establish itself in various body tissues and settling in the brain.
Children are at the highest risk and are more vulnerable to central nervous system infections.
Here's our story...
After six years of searching for answers, after seeing endless amounts of doctors, going through crazy amounts of testing, receiving multiple diagnoses on top of each other and living with lots of unanswered questions. I was feeling discredited as I was facing my medical peers being reassured nothing was wrong. Watching as one child became sicker and more symptomatic then the next one, right down the line times six. Then two and a half years ago we got the answer. The Lyme Tests started coming back positive and like pieces in the puzzle everything started coming together and things finally started to make sense. For a moment, it was a pleasant validation of my sanity, which was briefly celebrated, until I learned of “The Great Lyme Disease Debate” among physicians. I clearly found out right away how easily this diagnosis could be laughed off like it was nothing more than a rite of passage and would be eradicated by dinner time. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later in debt and a whole lot wiser, we learned there was more to it. No tic, no flu like symptoms, no bull’s eye rash… no clue.
What’s happening is heart breaking to watch as they fade away slowly. Our straight A kiddos who cannot recall simple math, or our sweet sons who become aggressive and violent because of brain inflammation or our daughter that constantly cycles into anaphylactic reactions despite being on triple therapy and staying close to living in a bubble. The sudden onset hearing loss with three of them, they all have a laundry list of Food Allergies, Gut Issues, Chemical/Environmental Sensitives, Heavy Metals, Mold, Parasites, Bowel/ Bladder issues and the list goes on and on like crazy.
The Kids….They are Amazingly Strong, Brave, Smart, Funny, Kind, Young People with an Incredible amount of Fight in them, who work and play until they just can’t anymore. They taught us what it is to truly listen.
Sean is 18, just graduated high school. He is interested in becoming an attorney and fighting for people’s rights. He will thrive at that, as he can be quite argumentative and persuasive. For now he will be hanging out at home, going to community college until he is strong enough to live on his own.
Jack is 17 and will be starting his senior year in high school. He is interested in going into education or the medical field. Whatever he chooses to do, his compassion and strength will be a great asset in any environment. People are draw to his kindness. He taught me patience.
Dylan is 15 and going into his sophomore year in high school. He has not been in school for the past two years due to severe complications from the Lyme Disease and he misses it greatly. His strong will to make the best out of really cruddy situations is impressive. His life experiences so far have already given him a unique insight on the needs of others in unpleasant situations. His empathy and courage is empowering to be around. Whatever he becomes he will be amazing at it.
Bridget and Megan are 12. They are crazy, bubbly chatter boxes who to love to just be kids at this gawky age. They would love to not have to take handfuls of medication several times a day, have a restricted diet and avoid some unpleasant treatments daily. Somehow they fit it all in just so they have time to play. Six months ago, Bridget was also diagnosed with mast cell activation disease on top of everything else. This has prevented her from attending school this year due to complications and extreme fatigue with environmental exposures. She misses everyone soooo much. Her plans after knocking these things off her list is to become a nurse and help people get through their illnesses. Megan is hanging in there with her complications but worries more about her twin sister. She is going to be a veterinarian when she grows up and no one is going to stop her.
And Ryan… Our youngest at 9. He is an old soul. Wise beyond his years and was sickly but strong from the beginning. He truly defines why I am the type of nurse I am today. He sharpened my assessment skills and taught me how to truly care for someone by going to the root of the problem, instead of putting a bandage on the symptoms. He taught me to question the “specialists” and gave me confidence to search further for answers even when the doctors dismissed us. Once bright, energetic and a friend to all, his personality has changed drastically over the past six months. The bacteria has caused inflammation and along with it came migrating pain and severe brain fog. Somewhat controlled now but far from being himself. We refuse to watch more of him fade away.
About us… As parents, this is an incredibly humbling experience, as we’ve always focused on teaching our children to help others. It is extremely difficult to reach out in this manner and ask for financial assistance, but we are out of options. At this time in our lives, we need help from others to save our children.
My husband Jim and I have been married for 22 yrs. He is a full time firefighter for the past 23 years and also works a side job, trying to provide enough income to support the medical needs of the children. Despite having three jobs between us and health insurance, medical bills exceed our income last year.
I’m Wendy, I’ve been a registered nurse for nineteen years. Twelve years ago I created the Booty Camp Potty Training Program. Six months ago, I closed the business due to the increasing caregiving needs of three of our children who are too ill to attend school. When I’m not comforting a child, preparing allergy meals, pushing treatments and protocols or making medicine bins up, I am researching constantly for answers towards their recovery.
Our Lyme Journey is pushing us to look outside the country for treatment as many other have found great relief with Stem Cell Therapy for the same issues our children face. Such places as China, Mexico and India are already using stem cell therapy for Chronic Lyme Disease, Incurable Diseases and Paralysis.
There is an urgent need for Lyme Disease education and awareness in the United States. We will be part of that movement. Please help us, so we can help others.
Thank you for taking this journey with us and partnering with our children for their healing.
Thank you for giving us Hope.
Please send us your pictures/videos of your Lyme Challenge! Email us at [email protected] or Tweet us at @bootycampmom or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wendy.sweeney.984
We look forward to seeing your Silly Faces!
Warmly and with Gratitude,
Wendy Sweeney and the Sweeney Family
Jim, Wendy, Sean, Jack, Dylan, Bridget, Megan and Ryan
There is also a donation fund set up at First American Bank, “The Sweeney Kids Medical Fund”. Donations can be made in person at any First American Bank
you may mail checks or money orders: The Sweeney Kids Medical Fund
c/o First American Bank
2901 E. Main St.
St. Charles, Il 60174
If you have any questions please contact myself, Wendy Sweeney or this fundraiser page Organizer Jo Anna Nunes by clicking "Contact the Organizer" to the right.
For more information about Lyme Disease:
Definition of Lyme Disease- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease
International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society-http://www.ilads.org/
So you know Someone with Chronic Lyme Disease-A Guide to Understanding their Struggle