Jessica
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In the spring of 2012,

Jessica had just turned 20 years old and started having pain in her hands and feet. Her doctor tested her for arthritis, lupus and MS, but none of her markers were positive. By that time, 3 months had passed and her symptoms were getting worse. Jessica’s fatigue was extreme, her pain spread everywhere in her body, especially her joints, her heart was racing and she was faint and weak all the time.

We grew more concerned and were fortunate that a last resort test for Lyme disease was ordered and that Jessica was part of the Lyme disease population that exhibited a positive result. However, we had no idea that even with a positive test result, we were about to embark on a difficult journey to improve her health.

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The next year was a blur of confusion...

...trying to find physicians with proper Lyme experience to treat Jessica’s advanced disease. Countless doctor visits, tests and treatments often made us feel helpless. There was the specialist in Denver who told Jessica she did not have Lyme, despite her very positive test. An infectious disease specialist in Phoenix performed many invasive and painful tests only to tell Jessica she did not have Lyme. Meanwhile, Jessica was getting sicker.

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Jessica with port

Now Jessica was 21...

...and finishing college a semester early, despite her intense brain fog, partial hearing loss and mild bell's palsy symptoms, in addition to her ongoing pain and fatigue. We found a doctor to treat Jessica for Lyme, but it was all cash pay and not standard protocols. At that point, I would have sold my house to help her. Jessica was unbelievably sick and no one we were counting on as medical experts were truly helping her. I constantly asked myself why?

With the new physician, Jessica got a port in her chest and started IV antibiotics 4 days a week, 5 hours a day for a year. I was aware that was an extreme amount of antibiotics. The cost was outrageous.

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But when someone you love is getting sicker by the day and there’s no help in sight, you’ll do anything to help.

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Next, I found an amazing Lyme doctor in New York and with his care Jessica showed improvement. After several months, Jessica began to get better. Today, we are 3 years after her initial diagnosis and she is about 80% of her normal self...

Our story is better than most, but the ending is yet in sight...

We were and still are contacted by many people who have loved ones sick with Lyme. I cannot tell them what helped Jessica because there were so many steps, we aren't 100% sure how to replicate the treatment. Our family has talked about opening a clinic because our doctor was so booked up he could not see new patients. It all seemed so wrong. There is too much confusion, sickness, cost and unanswered questions. I became so frustrated and that is when we decided to do what we know how to do well in our family: put on events and fund medical research. That is how Focus On Lyme came to be. With your help, we will make a difference. Thank you for reading our story.

Tammy Crawford

Founder, Focus On Lyme
Mother to Jessica Crawford, Lyme disease patient

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