Today we have a special interview with one of our current Australian online fundraisers. It is an incredible story about two sisters and their fight against Lyme disease. Just a few months ago, Melanie Lattanzio created a fundraising page for her sister, Lisa Tubnor who suffers from a rare infectious bacteria disease called lyme.
Being a suffer of lyme disease means that Lisa is unable to work full time. Even the most simple everyday tasks that most will take for granted, Lisa struggles to complete. It is a constant battle and that is why Melanie and Lisa have teamed up to fundraise to make lisa lyme free!
Upon research, Melanie and Lisa found that there was no available treatment in Australia that could cure lyme disease. They decided to go aboard, to find the best treatment possible for Lisa.
Lisa will be going for 2 weeks to the St Georg Klinic in Bad Aibling Germany, where she will undergo intense treatment of her disease. The clinic has had great results with many people worldwide leaving their treatment sessions after the 2 weeks, completely disease free! – Melanie
For Lisa to be able to go to Germany is a life changing moment. However, it does come at a price. Lisa and the family are prepared to pay over $15,000 to get Lisa there for two weeks of treatment
So far they have reached over $10,000 using PeoplePledge, an online fundraising platform. They have also been busy with local community fundraisers which they were able to raise $15,000 to add to their total. Both Lisa and Melaine have been amazed at the response. They never expected such great support from family, friends and their community and have been thankful for every donation that has been made so far.
We were able to ask Lisa and Melanie a few questions to learn more about their extraordinary journey so far.
What’s one memorable, funny or meaningful moment that you (Melanie) have had with Lisa.
One memorable/funny event we have been through together during Lisa’s lyme journey has been when we were asked to take some photos for an article that was to appear in the local paper.
I was at Lisa’s place visiting at the time and my husband had to take some photos which depicted Lisa & I with her medication. Despite the seriousness of her situation & the horrible things she has to deal with on a daily basis, we both found it very hard to keep a straight face.
Consequently, we ended up with photos of me attempting to stab Lisa in the neck (pretending of course) with one of her needles all the while laughing ourselves stupid!
Despite the fact that she lives with lyme everyday, we won’t let it destroy her sense of humour!
What message of hope would you like to give to other families with loved ones dealing with Lyme?
Our message of hope is…Never give up hope, there are so many lyme warriors out there fighting for awareness, recognition and treatment in this country, despite the fact it is not readily known or talked about in Australia.
The spread of awareness of this insidious disease is spreading as fast as the disease itself. many people are talking about lyme, know someone who has lyme or have heard something about it now. It will only be a matter of time before the Lyme journey for those suffering in Australia becomes easier to bear than it is now.
What’s your number one piece of advice for spreading the word about your pledge page which helped you get more pledgers and raise more funds?
My number one piece of advice is…Never ever shut up about Lyme, tell everyone and anyone who will listen to you about it. Use as many social media networks as possible to help you spread the word, ask all the people you know to share your message with everyone they know.
Contact your local papers, local members of parliament and people of note in your community who know lots of people also. Overall, publicly thank people who have helped you, daily and encourage others to help also, daily! as many people as you can get talking about it the better!
People should have fundraiser as well as using people pledge. My sisters community raised$15000 in one day by everyone coming together for auctions raffles and head shaving. Worked a treat!!