As you may know, our dear friend Jeff Foster - author, poet and teacher - is seriously ill and needs immediate medical help. He's helped and inspired so many people around the world and now we want to help him in return.
After many exhausting and distressing months of seeing doctor after doctor and undergoing in-depth medical testing in both the UK and USA, Jeff has finally been diagnosed with chronic neurological Lyme disease (or 'neuroborreliosis'). It seems that he was bitten by an infected tick during his travels in the USA some years ago, but the infection went untreated (only around 25% of patients with Lyme disease ever remember getting a tick bite or rash), and the infection has now reached his brain and nervous system.
In October 2020 Jeff was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system which doctors believe was triggered by the Lyme infection (in the same way that POTS and chronic fatigue symptoms are being triggered by the Covid-19 virus in some 'Long Covid' patients.) The POTS means that Jeff's body is now struggling to pump blood up to his brain which, on top of the Lyme symptoms, often leaves him lightheaded, dizzy, disoriented and confused, with a racing heart after only mild exertion. He has also tested extremely high for toxic mold in his system, and Epstein Barr virus antibodies. As one UK doctor put it, multiple ‘insults’ on his immune and nervous systems by bacteria, mold and viruses have left him very sick, weakened... and often scared at times.
(Lyme disease is the number one spreading vector-borne epidemic in the United States and Europe, estimated to be around six times more common than HIV/AIDS. It is a systemic infection caused by "spirochete" - corkscrew-shaped - bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, similar to the bacteria that cause syphilis. The bacteria are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks which are often smaller than a pinhead. Lyme disease is known as "the great imitator" since it can mimic the symptoms of more than 350 different diseases including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. People with Lyme disease are also frequently misdiagnosed with mental health conditions. To add to the complexity, Lyme and its co-infections can cause hundreds of different symptoms in many parts of the body, including neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms - such as anxiety, panic, suicidal ideation, depression, hallucinations, insomnia, rage, hyperactivity, etc. One of the most common causes of death in people with Lyme disease is suicide.)
THE PRESENT …. JEFF’S SYMPTOMS
At the moment, Jeff is struggling both physically and cognitively. He has needed a lot of support and care for the last 9+ months, and he is not getting better with all the treatments he's been receiving so far. He has been experiencing debilitating fatigue and exhaustion which is not improved by sleep. He becomes breathless and exhausted easily on walking and often has to sit down after only a few minutes of gentle activity. He suffers from temperature dysregulation, constant tinnitus (loud high-pitched ringing in the ears), hyperacusis (hypersensitivity to sound), tremors, spasms, bodily anxiety (anxiety which is physiological not psychological), insomnia (one study showed that nearly all Lyme patients have disturbed sleep), and some periods where he is just totally disoriented and doesn’t know where he is. Lyme is known to eventually cause neuro-cognitive impairments when it’s left untreated for too long and the bacteria have started to attack and inflame the nervous system and brain.
This entire cascade of symptoms has been shattering to Jeff. Most debilitating of all for Jeff has been the brain fog, memory problems and cognitive impairments. Jeff sometimes has episodes of what can only be described as a kind of ‘dementia’. He gets confused as to where we are. He has confused my car with an airplane, he has asked “When is my train to London leaving?” when he’s lying in bed in Los Angeles, or thinks that he is having dinner when he’s eating breakfast, or he's scared because he can’t remember anything about how he got to his hotel. These are just a few examples. He has loss of words and memory at times, periods of the day where he does not know how to talk or form sentences and doesn’t know the names of things. When the episodes are over he remembers very little of them. These episodes are incredibly distressing. Jeff describes them as "like being trapped in hell".
Jeff is living in a constant state of feeling like he is “having a bad drug trip”, detached from reality, almost like a constant "out of body" experience (this dissociation/derealization is also a known symptom of neurological Lyme) but he can usually push through the day and still sometimes communicate with people and seem normal. The episodes of "dementia" seem to come out of nowhere (we haven’t yet worked out what’s triggering them or making them worse) and often come and go throughout the day, which makes the whole situation extra confusing and frustrating and also makes it harder for Jeff to even be believed by certain people, especially when they speak to him when he seems “normal” and clear. And especially because, on his good days, he can still sometimes write beautifully, it's easy to think he's not that unwell.
As you can imagine all of this is absolutely devastating for Jeff on so many levels, and also terrifying to observe for us. Jeff has had no history of mental health problems and has been generally physically healthy his whole life (except for a bout of mononucleosis in his early 20's), and these past 9+ months, during which he has become limited physically and cognitively, have been utterly shattering for him. He becomes depressed and hopeless at times, especially when the brain fog and memory loss is severe, and it seems as though he is losing hope as the months go on with no treatments so far having worked, and so many doctors have told him they just don't know how to help his brain fog / memory loss.
In Jeff's own words: "WILL YOU REMIND ME OF MY OWN TEACHINGS?" (from his May 2021 newsletter).
We really really want to help Jeff to regain his health.
As you may know, Jeff has not been able to work for almost a year now because of his condition (he had to quit the online courses he was running) and he has now spent an absolutely shocking amount already on private doctors in the UK and USA - internists, cardiologists, neurologists, integrative medicine doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, you name it - plus every medical test anyone could think of. Paying for all this privately, with no health insurance in either country (the UK's National Health Service currently does not fund treatment for - or even recognize the existence of - chronic Lyme disease), has already been hugely expensive, and as of now there is no end in sight.
We are asking for help, to save our friend Jeff’s life.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE:
TREATMENT AT BREAKSPEAR MEDICAL, UK & ST GEORG KLINIK, GERMANY
After an exhaustive search we found a Lyme treatment clinic in the UK called Breakspear Medical, who offer a holistic approach and blend the best of conventional medicine with the best of alternative treatments, and, with your support, they have begun to treat Jeff's chronic Lyme disease, fatigue, and toxic mold. Jeff has begun with a month-long course of IV antibiotics for the Lyme and other treatments will be customized to his needs.
We have made an estimate of the costs - to attend Breakspear Medical, a private clinic in the UK, to see other POTS/dysautonomia, Lyme and mold doctors, and also to travel to St Georg Klinik in Germany for a month's worth of intensive treatments. St Georg will treat Jeff with two systemic whole body hyperthermia treatments, and an adjuvant therapy program that will include detoxification, ozone, magnetic field, and intravenous infusions plus other therapies.. Due to the severity of Jeff's condition, they also plan an aggressive detoxification process including Plasmapheresis ("blood washing") and immune regenerative therapy, as well as mitochondrial repair and they will treat any co-infections with antimicrobial photo dynamic laser therapy. Plus there will be supportive therapies such as detox foot baths, enemas, colon hydrotherapy, lymph drainage, feet reflexology, reiki, massage, etc. The total trip cost of 3-4 weeks in Germany including travel, food, accommodation and a friend/assistant to accompany Jeff will be around €50,000.
Obviously at this point we can't know exactly how much all of Jeff's treatments will cost over a 6-9 month or longer period, or how long it will take before Jeff regains his basic health, but we are making a conservative estimate - after speaking with Breakspear & St Georg Klinik and getting their estimated treatment plans and costs, and speaking with other people who have been on this sometimes very complex and long Lyme/POTS/mold journey, and thinking about all the medical care, healing and help Jeff will need over 6-9 months or even longer, we think he’ll need at minimum £90k this year. This will help pay for:
- Daily IV antibiotic treatment (plus supplement/detox program) for a month at Breakspear and then a month's treatment at St Georg Klinik (plus a medication and supplement package to take home)
- all extra necessary doctor appointments (cardiologists, neurologists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, etc)
- all extra medical testing, including autonomic testing for dysautonomia
- all treatments (for Lyme, mold and POTS), both conventional and alternative
- all supplements and medicines
- all accommodation and travel (e.g. staying at an apartment near Breakspear, travel to Germany)
- all food and other living expenses
- treating any unexpected medical conditions/treatments that will arise along the way
- plus we want pay for a friend to assist Jeff for a month in Germany. Jeff gets disoriented and scared at times and often needs help.
** All money donated through this page will go directly to Jeff to fund his healing journey. **
You may donate anonymously, of course:
Just click "Don't display my name publicly on the campaign" when you make your donation.
(Jeff starting IV treatment at Breakspear Medical, UK, 26th May 2021) ❤️
Any other kind of assistance you would like to offer Jeff at this time is so deeply appreciated.
Of course, no one is under any pressure to donate and Jeff loves you all anyway, whatever you choose.
If you’d like to make a donation in another way, please contact us using the CONTACT button below.
(For those of you who have asked about using Paypal, Jeff's personal Paypal address is: https://paypal.me/lifewithoutacentre )
Thank you so much for your help.
P.S. Jeff will post updates here and on his Facebook page when he has the energy to do so.
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