Before I moved to New Zealand I had been living in New York for 14 years. I had a good job there and good friends in a city that I loved. Phil and I met one crazy night in lower Manhattan in the late summer of 1999. He had attended his brother’s wedding on Long Island and was returning to New Zealand in a few days where his precious four year old daughter lived. He had to get back to her. Phil and I soon realized we couldn’t live without each other (My Story is a bit of a love story too). I moved to New Zealand a year later, in August 2000. A month or so after I moved Phil and I bought a house near the beach, our dream. I got a job in Auckland. I felt my life was blessed. I was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma on November 7, 2000. Phil was with me. Neither of us had ever heard of scleroderma and it took some practice for us to even pronounce it correctly. It took even more practice for us to understand the full implications of what it meant to have this disease. We were told by the doctor who diagnosed me that the scleroderma would probably spread to my lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and thyroid, in addition to my skin, joints, tendons, blood vessels and other connective tissue. I was told I was in the early stages of the disease. The symptoms I had at the time were Raynaud’s, swollen, tender hands, skin tightness, sore jaw, fatigue, depression, intermittent rashes, itching, night sweats and sore joints. I was told it was going to get worse. That soon I would have to take steroids and methotrexate among other dangerous drugs. I was told there was no known cause and no known cure. My prognosis was grim. So I logged on to the internet (my old friend). I found several websites on scleroderma and I learned a lot about the disease. I learned some pretty depressing information, too. As I stumbled through the different websites I was lead to the Roadback site by a couple of gals named Campy and Billye. From there I found a doctor in New Zealand who knew about the antibiotic treatment and who loaned me his personal copy of ‘The Great Arthritis Breakthrough’. I started the treatment in January of 2001. It wasn’t easy. It was a hard road. But I got better and I continue to get better. My skin has loosened dramatically. My energy has returned. I don’t have the crushing fatigue. Depression lifted. Blood work improved dramatically. I never had to quit my job, I continued to work full time. Kidneys, liver, lungs, heart and thyroid are NORMAL. I can make plans, travel and dream. Phil and I were married in our back garden on April 1, 2001. Phil’s daughter was there (she’s six now), and our pup, McManus. My life IS blessed. To those of you who are sick, my heart goes out to you. Being sick is such a lonely business. I urge you to try the antibiotic protocol. I welcome your questions, please feel free to write to me. I am not a doctor, but I am a good example of the effectiveness of this treatment. Write to me. Ask me anything. The Roadback group listened and responded to my every complaint, my every ache and pain. It was and continues to be a great outlet, it is full of smart, informed, supportive, compassionate people. I was able to recover quickly because of the years of suffering and searching of people who found an answer and wanted to share the good news. I never had to try those toxic drugs because they had tried them with no success. I have recovered because of their struggle. I learned more from the people on the Roadback than the doctors I spoke to about SD. Among the heroes in my journey are Richie & Andrea, sister Patti (who has been my hero for some years), Dr Ric C. , Campy, Billye, Dr Brown and the whole Roadback group. And Mom. My husband Phil is my Knight whose love, strength and support never ever wavered. I would not have recovered without him. Good luck and may God bless you all.
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