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I have set up this page hoping to get some help towards funding treatment for my beautiful friend Sophia who suffers from a number of chronic, debilitating illnesses including Lyme disease. We met at University, both studying speech and language therapy for 4 years. For 3 of those years we lived together with another friend, Abbey, and have lots of amazing memories. Soph was poorly at various points throughout uni however since graduating her health has significantly deteriorated. Sophia has had to travel overseas to get the expert knowledge and treatment she needs and continues to consult with private medical professionals in the UK to hopefully get her well again. To support Soph to access this treatment I have decided to do 6 challenges – six for Soph as I thought it sounded snappy!
1. Triathlon (June)
2. Manchester 10K (May)
3. Tough Mudder (August)
4. Three Peaks (After I’ve climbed a lot of hills to practice!)
5. 120 mile bike ride (Dunwich Dynamo) July
6. Swimathon (April)
I would really appreciate your support in any way you can. Any donation, no matter how small would be amazing!! :)
You can find out more about Sophia by visiting her blog www.spooniesophia.com, her instagram & twitter @spooniesophia and her youtube channel - just search for Spoonie Sophia.
The story so far
Sophia is 29 and has suffered with unexplained and increasing chronic neuropathic pain since her first year at uni 10 years ago. On a daily basis she experiences burning, stabbing, cramping, and deep intense aching pain 24 hours a day, with sensitivity so extreme that often even a cotton sheet touching her can’t be tolerated. Walking just a few steps is painful, difficult and very restricted.
Since December 2014 she also began to experience a lot of other debilitating symptoms like chronic fatigue, muscle aches, migraines, dizziness, sound and light sensitivity, a racing heartbeat, and memory and concentration problems.
The Lyme Disease diagnosis
2 years ago Sophia’s pain consultant thought outside of the box and suggested a test for Lyme Disease which was performed by the NHS. The first test came back positive. However, a second test was described as ‘inconclusive’.
A subsequent test via a reputable German laboratory confirmed that not only did she have Lyme Disease but also several co-infections and viruses, plus a suppressed immune system. She has also since been diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is often caused by Lyme and is an explanation for why she can’t stand for sit for very long.
How Lyme Disease has affected Sophia
Her health is very poor. Contracting Lyme Disease and multiple chronic infections has left her almost totally debilitated and housebound. Her immune system is severely compromised, her central nervous, autonomic and digestive systems have been severely affected and her neuropathic pain is widespread and difficult to control with drugs. She hasn’t been able to work for over 4 years (she had to give up her job as a speech and language therapist) and has lost her independence.
The Plan to get her better
Sophia’s mum has given up work to research everything there is to know about her chronic illnesses and to look after her.
In October 2016 they travelled to America to get Sophia treatment for lyme disease at a clinic in New York at great expense. Since their return, however, Sophia has not been well enough to continue with the treatment but has been focusing on building up her immune system and dealing with toxins and gut issues caused by the lyme with the help of a private consultant.
The treatment plan will be gentle and slow as her body is so weak and she is so compromised but she has every faith that things will improve with time.
She has also recently been in hospital in London under the care of a top neurologist who has been running extensive tests to try to get to the root cause of her neuropathic pain to see whether there is an effective treatment for it. It’s going to be a long process as she has been in pain for so long and it will involve several costly trips to London for more consultations and testing.
Recovery from these debilitating and life-changing illnesses is definitely possible and Sophia is hopeful that she can slowly regain her life back. It’s going to be a very long road and a tough process both mentally and physically as treatment often makes you more poorly before you start to feel better. She may be physically weak but she has a very strong mind and is as determined as ever to get through it and come out the other side – smiling!
*Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the Borrellia bacteria. It can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick, flea or biting fly. Symptoms include feeling flu-like, extreme tiredness, muscle pain & weakness, joint pain, upset digestive system, headache, disturbances of the central nervous system and insomnia. Treatment is with antibiotics and is most effective if started as early as possible in the disease. Chronic Lyme Disease is much more difficult to treat and involves longer courses of antibiotics, combinations of antibiotics and additional therapies.
For more information on lyme disease please visit ILADS, Lyme Disease UK and caudwell-lyme.net
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Francesca Sephton started crowdfunding
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Aug 18, 2018
Aug 18, 2018
Best of luck everyone! X
Aug 18, 2018
Good luck you beautiful brave people! An amazing cause.. so close to your target! Come on!!!
Aug 18, 2018
Best of luck to all of you! Xxx
Aug 17, 2018
Best of luck!
Aug 17, 2018
Best of luck to Sophia with her treatment xxx
Tree House Staff
Aug 17, 2018
A collection from the Tree House Children's Centre, Stepping Hill Hospital xxx
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