SUMMARY OF FUNDRAISERLONG VERSION
Join us in helping the Haasenritters heal; consider sharing this page. 125k needed for Lyme treatment for Kamuela and Sharman and paying off current medical debt from Sharman's Lyme care to date.
The Haasenritter's story is not unlike many chronic Lyme patient's stories: years of debilitating symptoms, searching doctor after doctor with no proper diagnosis, incorrect diagnoses that took them down financial bunny trails and wasted precious time and energy. At this time, the Haasenritters are grateful to finally know what the nature of their health battle is - to have direction and a process to heal, albeit a very long one. Lyme treatment is still very volatile, consuming and financially draining, but they are expectant that their bodies can heal and sustain them.
After searching over 5 years and 13 health practitioners later, in fall of 2013, the mom, Sharman, was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She immediately began aggressive treatment using alternative methods (antimicrobial herbals, Rife, sauna detox, nutraceuticals, and IV ozone therapy) but the process was long, volatile and costly and after three long years, proved to be ineffective. The disease was progressing and deteriorating her neurology further as she continued to be bed-ridden often, unable to drive or care for her family, vacillating between seizures and Parkinson’s-like activity. This downward spiral culminated in bacterial meningitis from an associated infection in her brain the summer of 2016. Despite everything they were doing, her body was not winning this battle. With severe neurological symptoms increasing in both strength and frequency, in November 2016, Sharman’s husband flew her from their home in Atlanta to a neuro Lyme specialist in San Diego, California. It would be a long road ahead – approximately 2 more years of treatment followed by another year of maintenance, but they were relieved to see a realistic end in sight.
As the Haasenritters journeyed on this Lyme path, educating themselves on the disease, they discovered Kamuela’s (the husband) long time health battles, although very different from Sharman’s, were also Lyme related. Back in 2006, Kamuela began experiencing what they now know to be classic and very specific Lyme symptoms, but that knowledge and medical expertise did not cross their path at that time. Answers continued to evade Kamuela as well. By fall of 2007, in search of answers specifically for Kamuela’s rapidly deteriorating memory, Sharman drove Kamuela from their home in Atlanta to Washington D.C. to the closest internationally renowned Amen Clinic to have brain scans specialized treatment. In the end, improvement proved very short-lived, and they continued to search for answers.
It wasn’t until Sharman was finally given the proper diagnosis and this family began to learn about Lyme, things became very clear: Kamuela too had been battling Chronic Lyme for years, they just didn’t know it. In 2016, 9 years later, while initiating care in California for Sharman, her new neuro Lyme doctor (although technically not taking ANY new patients) graciously agreed to see Kamuela as well. So in January of 2017, Kamuela formally began his Chronic Lyme and associated diseases treatment as well.
So many people ask the Haasenritters about their symptoms. For the purpose of scratching that itch as well as Lyme awareness, the Haasenritters have compiled a list of some of their symptoms that are classic for chronic Lyme:
Sharman: nerve burning, tingling, sensation of waves of electrical activity throughout body, extreme jaw and tooth pain despite normal teeth, head pressure, weakness, head ache, joint pain, incapacitating fatigue, muscle pain, severely swollen itchy ankles, reduced joint mobility, stiff neck, weight gain, weight loss, debilitating brain fog – unable to process routine tasks like how to drive, extreme light and sound sensitivity, light bursts in vision field, pain with eye movement, Bell’s palsy, fever, multiple noises/ringing in ears, problems with spatial orientation – clumsiness, sleep disturbances, tremors, twitches, seizures, stuttering, problems with word retrieval, dizziness, blurred vision, loss of fine motor skills (writing), sensation of brain being electrocuted, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, episodic paralysis
Kamuela: memory loss, insomnia, depression, ADD, gross fatigue, unproductive sleep, hormonal imbalance, severe pressure in the back of head, migraines, ringing in ears, depersonalization, joint pain, severe nutritional deficiencies, extreme stiff neck
EM (classic bull’s-eye) rash: none, never.
Tick bites: plenty
To these daily realities the Haasenritters find themselves in, they have but one statement: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Until legislation changes and the CDC and IDSA (infectious Disease Society of America) acknowledge Chronic Lyme as an active infection requiring extensive treatment, it is next to impossible to get insurance-approved treatment beyond the initial first 14-28 day course of antibiotics for acute Lyme (classic bulls-eye rash after a bite). This doesn't even scratch the surface of what Chronic Lyme treatment involves.
Please donate to help this family heal.
Addendum – Unexpected Favor
Part of what made that medical trip to California possible was a divine intervention. For most of 2016, Sharman seriously considered discontinuing treatment altogether and had begun those conversations with both her doctors. They were not in agreement especially since she was young. For Sharman, Lyme had taken over every aspect of not just her life, but also her family’s life in having to manage it, and she was done dancing with Lyme. She had been in non-stop intensive care for literally 3 years plus. If her body wasn’t able to beat it, there was no shame in admitting that. Frankly, she was tired. This family had invested heavily in cutting edge, cash-only Lyme care (Sharman often shared a seat in the waiting room with out-of-towners flying in to see her doc for Lyme) so it seemed there was nothing left to try, no where left to go. It wasn’t until meeting several other Georgia Lyme patients, and noticing those having success in treatment were going out of state, the Haasenritters investigated other treatment modalities and discovered how incomplete (albeit unintentional) her care had been all along. There were glaring gaps that only a true Lyme literate doctor would know. Since Georgia did not have a LLMD (Lyme Literate MD), they began earnestly considering the option of going out of state.
At this same time, an unsolicited offer came their way. A non-profit local organization dedicated to the spiritual development and fellowship of women had received a piano donation. This organization, Touching Hearts Ministries, decided to sell the piano and keep the proceeds. One of the board members also happened to be a customer of Kamuela’s and knew of Sharman’s medical condition. Could he assist with the evaluation and sale of the piano if they donated a portion of the proceeds to Sharman’s care? They sensed God was up to something special and wanted to be a part of whatever He was doing. We were all amazed to find out multiple members of the donor’s family had received extensive Lyme treatment 17 years prior in California by a colleague of the Haasenritter's soon-to-be LLND. The donor fully understood the Haasenritter's situation and was excited to be involved. For Sharman, it was as if God Himself had said, “See I’ve got this. Do not stop care. I will provide in ways you cannot imagine or plan.”
The cherry on top was how quickly the piano sold, despite piano sales in general being quite low. Although not a salesman, Kamuela had just tried to assist two other customers with piano sales but found no buyer. This piano sold in less than 18 hours! The timing was amazing! Just as the Haasenritters were processing the shock that going out of state would be required to beat this disease, along came this large financial blessing – completely unexpected and unsolicited. It gave courage and validation to secure expert neuro Lyme care, regardless of the cost or effort involved. God was up to something good.
And then it gets even better. At first it was very discouraging to discover their two top choice physicians were no longer taking new patients (one in NY, one in CA). One had a wait list and the other just closed their wait list! But within just a few days, Sharman "happened" to be at the computer the very moment a new patient appointment became available on the California doctor’s online schedule. Sharman called the office immediately and after a long review of symptoms, was graciously given the appointment despite the wait list she was NOT on. Wow. Within 5 days of that phone call Kamuela and Sharman were on a plane to California with an agreement that Kamuela would be established as a patient as well during that visit. So they went from no availability for new patients, to both being seen. A proverbial parting of the Red Sea in regards to logistics and finances and timing for sure!
HAASENRITTER'S BIG THANKS TO
- Southridge Creative
for the countless hours you gave to film and edit our family's story. Your expertise, artistic eye and generosity is invaluable to this project. We are humbled, grateful and impressed.
- Jenn Lynn Photography
for lending your creative expression and gifting such beautiful family photos to us on a "good" day.
- Touching Hearts Ministries
You were the first to show us that our financial burden could be shared. Thank you for your unsolicited, spontaneous and generous donation.
- Our home church, Grace Church, and its many selfless members. Thank you always for your ongoing support as well as the large portion you gave to secure the purchase of a FIR sauna. It has made such a difference in our on-going care.NOTICE
Any amount given in excess of this fundraiser goal will be re-invested back into the Lyme community, given to Lyme and associated disease research (Jemsek), ILADS, and sponsoring other Lyme patients’ care within the Haasenritter’s home state of Georgia.