Nov, 1st 2015
What are the odds of you and or a loved one contracting Lyme disease? That’s what I asked myself when discovering the cause of both our daughters’ failing health. After battling Lyme disease for a decade and lying for months hooked up to IV antibiotics, wondering if I would ever regain my health, all I could think of was—thank god it’s me and not my children. And now, to my dismay, I am hooking my daughters up to an IV Lyme treatment everyday with worry about the possibilities of long-‐term effects. Yet what is the alternative at this time?
Unfortunately, we were not properly diagnosed and treated at the onset of the infection when it is most treatable, leaving it to progress to later stages where Lyme can evade the immune system and even treatment. As teenagers, our daughters’ thoughts are focused on whether they will feel well enough to see friends, swim or dance. Our thoughts as parents are focused on whether this treatment can sustain their health enough to get through college; will they have a life of continuous treatments that have their own host of problems; will it be possibly passed to their children; and is it possible this disease may shorten their lives like it has many?
The Lyme bacterium is much like a house with termites, you look normal, but even after treatment, the Lyme spirochete, similar to syphilis can wreak havoc, causing neurological and immune dysfunction, arthritic and heart problems, even death. As the fastest growing infectious disease in the US, Lyme can mimic symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Autism and Alzheimer’s, which debilitate millions and make Lyme more difficult to diagnose. As all those who have navigated their way through this uncharted frontier of Lyme know, the lack of medical help due to lack of research is unacceptable. My daughters and I must work every day to keep ourselves healthy enough to function and be here for the fruition of our family’s, along with other’s, pursuit of a cure for Lyme disease. This is a problem we, together can fix.
Laird and I have launched Stand4Lyme Foundation to leverage research at Stanford School of Medicine to “Pave a Medical Path to Wellness for Lyme Disease.” We have established the Stand4Lyme Fund at Stanford, providing an exciting opportunity for donors to partner with an interdisciplinary collaborative collection of brilliant minds who share our sense of urgency to accelerate cutting-edge research in Lyme disease. We firmly believe the Stanford Lyme Working Group’s exceptional and unique program, that includes collaborations at other leading institutions, holds the greatest promise to solve the puzzles that will bring a final cure!
Please STAND united with us by donating directly to Stanford University/Stand4Lyme Fund.
We, along with the millions who remain debilitated, will feel your love and support and could not do this without you!
Here’s to Paving a Path to Wellness!
Much Love and gratitude
Sherry & Laird Cagan