Matthew's War on Chronic Lyme Disease

For: Matthew Risi
Organizer: Debbie Risi
Matthew's War on Chronic Lyme Disease (Matthew Risi)
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 867 donors
57% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Note from Matt: This fundraiser is now closed. Thank you all for helping fund my treatment! :)

Please help Matt!

I am sending out this plea for help for my 26 year old son. He has chronic Lyme disease, and he is not covered under the Canadian medical system for treatment. Even worse, this terrible debilitating disease is not even recognized by the Canadian medical system, so even getting a doctor's note for time off is difficult. We are now faced with searching for treatment in the US. The expense of this endeavour to help him is staggering.

We have arranged treatment at the Sponaugle clinic in Florida. This involves going down to Florida for 3 days for blood tests. We are told this involves about 37 vials of blood and could take a couple of days depending on Matt's physical condition. As you can imagine this is quite taxing on a body that is already under siege. The cost of the initial tests are in the $5,000.00 range, and that is just the beginning. In all we are estimating his treatment will cost about $4,300.00 per week. We are not sure how long this will take but typically it takes around 12 weeks. This estimation does not include additional supplements or travel and accommodations.

Matt managed to earn a degree in Kinesiology and graduated from Brock University with honours as well as keep a part time job despite the everyday challenges he faces. He has always been responsible and diligent. He hopes to further his education and get into research in the health sciences. He has a good job with the energy department within the Alberta government and has come back to his family home in Niagara for support, as there is no family support out there. We are hoping that he will be able to return to a normal life and keep his job, returning to it once treatment is done.

Currently, the Lyme disease has affected the left side of his body. As seen in the photo gallery, his left shoulder and arm are severely wasted, and have become weak. He walks with a cane on days when his left leg cannot be trusted. Sometimes he stumbles as his leg cannot seem to bear his weight. He is 6 feet tall and weights about 135 pounds. The challenges do not end there. He has trouble sleeping (usually about 5 hours per night), has terrible brain fog, heart palpitations, constant muscle twitching, and has become light sensitive, so some days he fairs best in a dark room.

I wake up every morning thinking that this is just a nightmare, but unfortunately this is Matt's reality. All of this suffering for over 10 years, enduring countless tests and doctors appointments and untold expense.. only to be told to come back in a year, they don't know what's wrong. All this suffering and turmoil, not from leading an unhealthy lifestyle, not the affects of using drugs or alcohol but from the bite of a tick. 

Now that we have finally found a path forward, we need to get him help. If you can help us either with donations of prizes to raffle off, a venue to hold a fund raiser or a cash donation, it would be very helpful. 

Thank you for your time and attention.  I hope you can help us put an end to Matt's nightmare.

- Debbie Risi

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 7, 2014

Posted on June 7, 2014

1 Month On
Matthew Risi

It has been over a month since I have returned from the Sponaugle Wellness Institute.

I have been following my supplement schedule, taking intravenous therapies once a week or so and doing colonic hydrotherapy. I am happy to report continued improvements as time goes on, including:

  • Distinct lack of joint/muscle pain
  • Less twitching in my limbs, but not completely gone
  • No light sensitivity
  • Much better ability to control temper
  • Massive lifting of depression symptoms
  • Ability to hold attention for longer periods of time

All of this has been supported by some improved lifestyle habits, including going to yoga regularly, meditation, exercise and better sleep. Only on a few particularly bad days have symptoms flared up, but some are manageable, including brain fog, fatigue, headaches, etc. 

With regards to my experience at Sponaugle, I feel it was very pivotal to my health. I have and continue to have hang-ups with regards to the proprietary nature and cost of treatment, but what I have seen in both myself and others is most often great improvement. I am lucky enough that I did not have to resort to a wheelchair while sick, but I have seen others come out of theirs during treatment after months or years of needing one. 

I don’t endorse Sponaugle as being the only answer for people dealing with Lyme, co-infections or mold. What I can say is that the thorough testing, customized intravenous and supplement therapies and weekly feedback from nurses helped me immensely. The main tenants of treatment are to both kill off and detox as many “bugs” (Lyme, parasites, co-infections, etc) as well as remove any mold toxicity in the body & brain, all while supporting and improving the function of the immune system. 

My return to real life approaches, but this has been a journey like no other. I met some amazing people during treatment and was shocked and inspired by the generosity of everyone who donated to help fund it. Thank you all who have donated, spread the word, or even just for reading these and my past words on Lyme and my experiences with it.

Posted on April 4, 2014

Posted on April 4, 2014

Matthew Risi

So, I’ve been here for 9 weeks so far, thought I would give another update.

Treatment has been a pretty wild ride. My supplements and medications have been continuously adjusted and my responses monitored, with weekly blood work and subjective assessment of symptoms. 

I am happy to report that many of my symptoms have been very much alleviated, including a lot of the bodily and facial twitching, depression, gait issues and heart palpitations. The biggest improvement has been in my ability to have a positive view of my future, and to not feel hopeless. This has been a real game-changer, and may be a result of the decreased symptoms, feelings of empowerment, neurochemical correction, but is more likely to be a combination of all 3. Bottom line, I am excited to return to my life and empowered to move forward in a positive way.

My bad days are few and far in between for the last couple weeks, which is also awesome. I have been able to go to do some physical activity (weights, running, etc) and am working on some exercises targeted at rebuilding my smaller shoulder.. trying to keep my expectations in check with regards to that, but I feel that no effort is wasted in the gym. Also, I have been working on reviewing some preliminary chemistry exercises and re-awakening old pathways. My mental dexterity is sluggish at the moment, but I am happy to at least be trying.

I am hoping all of this means that I will be safe to come home soon, but blood work will dictate what is most prudent. Along with the Lyme, my levels of various species of mold have been very problematic. It has been suggested that some symptoms could be attributed to the mold issue, which I find very interesting. Looking forward, I will need to be careful about my work and home environments, continue taking supplements to help my immune system function and stay on top, continue colonic treatments, and likely take 2-3 IV drips per month. It’s definitely worth it.

What an unexpected turn of events this whole scenario has been. I am so lucky to have so much support and my loving parents, who have switched places between Thorold and here in Florida to act as my caregivers. I can’t wait to come home.

Posted on March 2, 2014

Posted on March 2, 2014

Matthew Risi

Hi everyone.

My first week of kill protocol went very well. During this phase, it is likely that one will feel quite a bit of pain, discomfort, fatigue, etc. I felt as though none of this was happening until about the last day of kills, where I felt generally terrible. The following week I was put back on "detox" to remove what had been killed or plied from biofilm.. this I think is where a lot of other Lyme/coinfection/mold treatments fall short. They go hard on killing aggressively with no attention being paid to clearance, which allows any blood-borne toxins to remain stagnant, washing back into nervous tissue and extending symptoms.. along with the idea of them not attacking biofilm in the first place.

As I previously mentioned, this treatment is separated into "detox" and "kill" weeks. Following this last bit of post-kill detoxing, nearly all of the symptoms I felt related to muscle twitching, cramps, arthritic-type pain in my hips, stuttering, light-sensitivity and ESPECIALLY mental fogginess and inability to consume written information well have all but dissipated. This was and is extremely encouraging, even if they sometimes do come back intermittently, because it is a great improvement over them being a constant. As I continue treatment, more and more of the bugs and mold causing these symptoms will be cleared. It just takes time and care, monitoring my liver and kidney function as well as paying close attention to vitals.

I've learned a great "tell" for when my symptoms are flaring, as the usual first sign is profound depression and feelings of hopelessness. During these times I want to isolate myself from other people as much as possible, often feeling terribly negative about everything in my life. However, like i said, I've learned that this is just symptoms flaring up, and I'm hoping that as I continue through detox and kill weeks, they were become fewer and further in between.

I am very much hoping that my treatment won't be much longer beyond another 6-8 weeks, but this is all contingent on how my body is responding and how effectively biofilm and mold levels are cleared from my blood. I am very optomistic because of the way I have been responding, and will keep you posted on whenever I receive a reasonable estimate on how much longer I will need to be here.

Thanks for reading!

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