Tiessen family of Stoney Creek hopes to win lengthy battle against Lyme disease

News Aug 07, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

The Tiessen family hopes to be nearing the end of a gruelling health care journey that’s taken them from Russia, to Ontario and now Florida in search of relief from chronic Lyme disease.

The Stoney Creek family, including parents Doug and Julie, and sons Josh, 20, and Zac, 19, all suffer from Lyme disease. While serving as missionaries in Russia in 1999, each was believed to have been bitten by nymph ticks, the size of a grain of sand.

Doug was the first to fall ill, with a mysterious range of fatigue and flu-like symptoms. After returning to Canada in 2001, he saw 18 specialists over 10 years before finally receiving a Lyme disease diagnosis. At the same time, the other three family members also got sick. It took another three years for Julie’s diagnosis, and an additional year for Josh and Zac.

Since 1999, each family member has dealt with short-term memory loss, joint pain, arthritis, fatigue, and severe headaches.

For Julie, back pain was the worst symptom. Josh and Zac had poor bone density. Zac also suffered from severe headaches.

Doug developed neck pain that made it difficult to perform shoulder checks while driving.

Now eight weeks into their Lyme disease treatment at the Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Oldsmar, Florida, near Tampa, each family member is feeling better.

Zac’s headaches are all but gone, as are Julie’s back problems.

The family shared their experiences with the Stoney Creek News in an Aug. 6 phone interview.

“Last week, I did a shoulder check and the pain was gone,” said Doug. “That pain that was there for at least five years was completely gone.”

Julie said the family’s care consists of naturopathic techniques, along with antibiotics and colonic treatment to clean out the gastrointestinal tract. The Tiessens are currently taking a range of supplements – about 100 pills a day each – and had 70 vials of blood taken over two days.

The treatment, said Doug, aims to push toxins out of the brain, the body’s most fatty tissue. After removing industrial toxins that can act as a biofilm, the final stage of treatment attempts to kill the Lyme bacteria itself with antibiotics.

Comparable treatment is unavailable and unapproved in Canada.

The family hopes to complete nine weeks of treatment under the guidance of Dr. Marvin Sponaugle.

The problem, said Doug, is the money could run out after eight weeks. On online campaign at youcaring.com has raised about $230,000, but the family needs another $15,000 to cover their ninth week.

After that comes another year of follow-up care at home. Last summer, the Tiessens estimated the total treatment cost at $280,000 Canadian. But a sagging exchange rate means the family will now have to shell out roughly $350,000.

The Tiessens are nonetheless heartened and grateful for the strong response to their online fundraising campaign.

“It’s been so encouraging,” said Doug. “And now we’re receiving gifts from total strangers.”

Their story has been shared more than 2,600 times on Facebook.

Before settling on the Sponaugle Wellness Institute, Julie said the family spoke to several other Ontarians who had positive experiences during their treatment.

The family was recently invited to attend a meeting with Progressive Conservative MPPs Tim Hudak and Toby Barrett. As the family was already in Florida, Julie’s mother attended on their behalf.

Julie said the opposition MPPs plan to ask health minister Eric Hoskins for improved testing and treatment for Lyme. She said others with Lyme need better treatment options.

“I do feel bad for others who are so frustrated and so helpless,” Julie said.

Tiessen family of Stoney Creek hopes to win lengthy battle against Lyme disease

News Aug 07, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

The Tiessen family hopes to be nearing the end of a gruelling health care journey that’s taken them from Russia, to Ontario and now Florida in search of relief from chronic Lyme disease.

The Stoney Creek family, including parents Doug and Julie, and sons Josh, 20, and Zac, 19, all suffer from Lyme disease. While serving as missionaries in Russia in 1999, each was believed to have been bitten by nymph ticks, the size of a grain of sand.

Doug was the first to fall ill, with a mysterious range of fatigue and flu-like symptoms. After returning to Canada in 2001, he saw 18 specialists over 10 years before finally receiving a Lyme disease diagnosis. At the same time, the other three family members also got sick. It took another three years for Julie’s diagnosis, and an additional year for Josh and Zac.

Since 1999, each family member has dealt with short-term memory loss, joint pain, arthritis, fatigue, and severe headaches.

For Julie, back pain was the worst symptom. Josh and Zac had poor bone density. Zac also suffered from severe headaches.

Doug developed neck pain that made it difficult to perform shoulder checks while driving.

Now eight weeks into their Lyme disease treatment at the Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Oldsmar, Florida, near Tampa, each family member is feeling better.

Zac’s headaches are all but gone, as are Julie’s back problems.

The family shared their experiences with the Stoney Creek News in an Aug. 6 phone interview.

“Last week, I did a shoulder check and the pain was gone,” said Doug. “That pain that was there for at least five years was completely gone.”

Julie said the family’s care consists of naturopathic techniques, along with antibiotics and colonic treatment to clean out the gastrointestinal tract. The Tiessens are currently taking a range of supplements – about 100 pills a day each – and had 70 vials of blood taken over two days.

The treatment, said Doug, aims to push toxins out of the brain, the body’s most fatty tissue. After removing industrial toxins that can act as a biofilm, the final stage of treatment attempts to kill the Lyme bacteria itself with antibiotics.

Comparable treatment is unavailable and unapproved in Canada.

The family hopes to complete nine weeks of treatment under the guidance of Dr. Marvin Sponaugle.

The problem, said Doug, is the money could run out after eight weeks. On online campaign at youcaring.com has raised about $230,000, but the family needs another $15,000 to cover their ninth week.

After that comes another year of follow-up care at home. Last summer, the Tiessens estimated the total treatment cost at $280,000 Canadian. But a sagging exchange rate means the family will now have to shell out roughly $350,000.

The Tiessens are nonetheless heartened and grateful for the strong response to their online fundraising campaign.

“It’s been so encouraging,” said Doug. “And now we’re receiving gifts from total strangers.”

Their story has been shared more than 2,600 times on Facebook.

Before settling on the Sponaugle Wellness Institute, Julie said the family spoke to several other Ontarians who had positive experiences during their treatment.

The family was recently invited to attend a meeting with Progressive Conservative MPPs Tim Hudak and Toby Barrett. As the family was already in Florida, Julie’s mother attended on their behalf.

Julie said the opposition MPPs plan to ask health minister Eric Hoskins for improved testing and treatment for Lyme. She said others with Lyme need better treatment options.

“I do feel bad for others who are so frustrated and so helpless,” Julie said.

Tiessen family of Stoney Creek hopes to win lengthy battle against Lyme disease

News Aug 07, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

The Tiessen family hopes to be nearing the end of a gruelling health care journey that’s taken them from Russia, to Ontario and now Florida in search of relief from chronic Lyme disease.

The Stoney Creek family, including parents Doug and Julie, and sons Josh, 20, and Zac, 19, all suffer from Lyme disease. While serving as missionaries in Russia in 1999, each was believed to have been bitten by nymph ticks, the size of a grain of sand.

Doug was the first to fall ill, with a mysterious range of fatigue and flu-like symptoms. After returning to Canada in 2001, he saw 18 specialists over 10 years before finally receiving a Lyme disease diagnosis. At the same time, the other three family members also got sick. It took another three years for Julie’s diagnosis, and an additional year for Josh and Zac.

Since 1999, each family member has dealt with short-term memory loss, joint pain, arthritis, fatigue, and severe headaches.

For Julie, back pain was the worst symptom. Josh and Zac had poor bone density. Zac also suffered from severe headaches.

Doug developed neck pain that made it difficult to perform shoulder checks while driving.

Now eight weeks into their Lyme disease treatment at the Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Oldsmar, Florida, near Tampa, each family member is feeling better.

Zac’s headaches are all but gone, as are Julie’s back problems.

The family shared their experiences with the Stoney Creek News in an Aug. 6 phone interview.

“Last week, I did a shoulder check and the pain was gone,” said Doug. “That pain that was there for at least five years was completely gone.”

Julie said the family’s care consists of naturopathic techniques, along with antibiotics and colonic treatment to clean out the gastrointestinal tract. The Tiessens are currently taking a range of supplements – about 100 pills a day each – and had 70 vials of blood taken over two days.

The treatment, said Doug, aims to push toxins out of the brain, the body’s most fatty tissue. After removing industrial toxins that can act as a biofilm, the final stage of treatment attempts to kill the Lyme bacteria itself with antibiotics.

Comparable treatment is unavailable and unapproved in Canada.

The family hopes to complete nine weeks of treatment under the guidance of Dr. Marvin Sponaugle.

The problem, said Doug, is the money could run out after eight weeks. On online campaign at youcaring.com has raised about $230,000, but the family needs another $15,000 to cover their ninth week.

After that comes another year of follow-up care at home. Last summer, the Tiessens estimated the total treatment cost at $280,000 Canadian. But a sagging exchange rate means the family will now have to shell out roughly $350,000.

The Tiessens are nonetheless heartened and grateful for the strong response to their online fundraising campaign.

“It’s been so encouraging,” said Doug. “And now we’re receiving gifts from total strangers.”

Their story has been shared more than 2,600 times on Facebook.

Before settling on the Sponaugle Wellness Institute, Julie said the family spoke to several other Ontarians who had positive experiences during their treatment.

The family was recently invited to attend a meeting with Progressive Conservative MPPs Tim Hudak and Toby Barrett. As the family was already in Florida, Julie’s mother attended on their behalf.

Julie said the opposition MPPs plan to ask health minister Eric Hoskins for improved testing and treatment for Lyme. She said others with Lyme need better treatment options.

“I do feel bad for others who are so frustrated and so helpless,” Julie said.