Erika has battled health problems for the majority of her lifetime of almost 28 years. Having been diagnosed with a hip disease when she was 5 years old that required her to wear braces on her legs for two years, and having overcome this disease at the age of 7 years old, Erika loved the feeling of “flying”, as she describes it, and she began to take dance lessons of every kind. Although health conditions continued to plague her, she persevered and progressed to a pre-professional level in ballet when she was 20 years old. During this time Erika began to teach dance, was in college seeking a degree in exercise science and technology, and was highly involved in volunteer work with young people at her church. Her world came crashing down when continued pursuit of answers for her health problems finally resulted in a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease – a potentially fatal disease that is caused by bacteria which invades the body’s tissues, muscles, bones, and organs, and is transmitted to humans by the deer tick and other carriers. It is believed that she contracted the illness ten years prior but was never correctly diagnosed. By the time she received answers the illness had become deep seated in her body.
If a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme wasn’t enough, in 2014 Erika and her family experienced a toxic black mold release in their home as a result of a botched plumbing job. This resulted in an eventual diagnosis of Biotoxin Illness in 2015 when it was discovered that Erika has a genetic condition which prevents her body from clearing mold toxins and other environmental toxins. Unfortunately, it was also discovered that she cannot clear toxins from the Lyme bacteria, making her illnesses that much more difficult to treat. Although she has seen well over 25 doctors and health care practitioners and has pursued various treatments Erika is still battling these illnesses. The Lyme and mold toxins have caused brain swelling and shrinking and have caused much havoc in several of her bodily systems. Most of her days are spent homebound, and sometimes bed bound, due to extreme fatigue, extreme pain, and neurological and digestive problems, among many others.
In the fall of 2016 Erika’s doctor recommended that she start on IV antibiotics as soon as possible because it is believed that the Lyme bacteria are still overrunning her immune system. However, her plans to see a specialist in Washington, D.C. in the early summer of June 2017 did not come to fruition because of lack of funding.. Because Erika’s case is complicated, it is important she continues to pursue treatment to get her body into remission. Insurance does not cover treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease (see information on Two Standards of Care – https://www.lymedisease.org/…/2014-Two-Standards-of-Care-Re…). Since she wasn’t able to raise the funding needed to see the specialist in D.C. she and her family have chosen a different route of treatment. Erika and her loved ones are hopeful that, with the help of donors, treatment and remission can be a reality. Her father is a pastor at a small church and her mother takes care of her many and various needs which prevents her from working outside the home. They have exhausted their financial resources in paying for the very expensive treatments in pursuit of healing for Erika, but continue to do what they can with their limited resources. It is imperative that Erika’s living environment is safe which requires extra special attention and care with ongoing testing in their home which is also a financial concern. With your donation, Erika will be able to afford her doctor visits with the functional medicine doctor to treat the Lyme disease, her visits with the Biotoxin Illness doctor to treat the mold illness, and her psychiatric doctors to treat the results of the brain inflammation and dysfunction that has come as a result of the toxins doing damage to her brain. Additionally, funds will help pay for her medications and needed supplements that are several hundred dollars a month. We thank you in advance for your gift which will give Erika a chance at healing and a fulfilling life!
* All Donations are the property of Helping Hands Ministries and to be used at the discretion of Helping Hands Ministries.