Monday, 19 of February of 2018

Abby Houde’s Story


“You can do nothing to bring the dead to life; but you
can do much to save the living.” — Unknown

I am Abby.  I have been sick since I can remember. Whether it was asthma, sinus infections, or pneumonia that kept me from sleepovers, I found other things to keep me busy, mostly an ever-expanding music collection and an array of movies at the local video store. Despite missing the required number of days necessary for graduation, the State of Maine decided to let me graduate anyway; after all, they needed me for the valedictorian speech. During college I became too sick to continue so I left, despite all my potential, and got a local job living with my parents.  By age 26 I finally was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and discovered a new-found courage. With my friend’s help I finally braved the fear to talk to a customer I had always liked.  Seven months later we were married. I am Abby with my best friend Lionel.

Abby and me on our wedding date, July 7, 2012.

Abby and Lionel on their wedding date, July 7, 2012.

Then one day Lionel and I heard the words you never want to hear: the only treatment that can save your life is not covered by insurance.  I have been diagnosed with neurological Lyme disease; however, I am a fighter, and I hope you will join my fight, not just for my medical treatment, but also for the others living with Lyme disease.

Lyme has affected my life in a multitude of ways.  Click here to read how.

But the worst thing about this disease is that it corners you and convinces you that you are alone. Even as I feel myself decay a little more each day, I want to help others break through the prison of that loneliness. 100% of all donations to Life Not Lyme will go to my treatment. I am asking my family and friends to contribute, since they love me and want me to live longer. After I am fully healed, 100% of extra proceeds will go to help those survive who are currently battling Lyme. Although the task seems insurmountable, especially to me, I hope the kindness of my loved ones and strangers will save not only my life, but thousands more.

No one chooses to be sick.  I didn’t.  I’m terrified of the unknown.

I feel like I’m different… I’m a stranger to myself.

However… I can choose how I respond:

  • I choose to respond with hope.
  • I choose to respond with gratitude — I am thankful for your support knowing I am not alone and never was.
  • I choose to believe that this treatment will be successful and that there is a full life before me.
  • I choose to be confident that enough money can be raised to treat others while I am undergoing my own fully paid treatment.  Contributing to others’ treatment is what keeps me fighting.

I don’t know why I’m on this road, but I want my journey to make a difference.  My dream is that Life Not Lyme will raise enough money to have my treatment fully paid for, with a significant sum left over to start helping the countless others who believe they are battling this disease alone.  My treatment, if it’s a short one, will be one full year and cost roughly $84,000.

I try to think of it like this: if 84,000 people just gave $1 then my treatment is already paid for. If 42,000 people gave $2, the treatment is paid for, and if a mere 17,000 people gave $5 my treatment is paid for.

I reiterate that the ultimate goal is to help others. I have experienced the isolation, extreme suffering, and the doubt of doctors. There is nothing more that I want than for their pain to stop along with mine.

If you are unable to donate, please do not feel guilty. I simply appreciate your reading my story.  In the end, the love from caring and kindness is all that matters.  If you wish to donate or share my message, please do so here.

— Abby Houde



Checks made out to Life Not Lyme
may also be mailed to:

Life Not Lyme

c/o Kennebunk Savings Bank

8 Main St

North Berwick, ME 03906

Checks and letters may also be mailed to:

Life Not Lyme
612 Emery’s Bridge Road, South Berwick, ME 03908

Life Not Lyme is a certified 501(c)(3). Tax ID 01-0357403.

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