As you well know, May is Lyme disease Awareness Month. I recently met Gregg Kirk, from the Ticked Off Foundation, through cyberspace and I was able to learn a little about his foundation which exists to help those suffering from Lyme disease.
Once I read about what he is doing I really wanted to bring your attention to his foundation and let you know how you can get involved.
Ticked Off Foundation & Recycle For Lyme Are Doing a Great Work for the Lyme Community
Here’s my interview with Gregg. Be sure to visit the link to his website at the end of the interview.
Tricia: Hi Gregg, before we discuss the important work you’re doing to help the Lyme community could you tell me a little about yourself and how you found out you had Lyme disease.
Gregg: In 1999, I moved from the Philadelphia area to Connecticut and about a year after moving here, I started noticing some weird symptoms after I ate meals. I felt very spacey and like I needed to take a nap every time I ate. Eventually, I started getting headaches as well, but even though I live in the state that gave Lyme disease its name, it took me more than two years for a doctor to figure out that’s what I had.
Tricia: In your bio, you share that you were diagnosed with Lyme disease and co-infections in 2005 but despite years of treatment with antibiotics, PICC Lines, herbal and alternative healing measures you did not fully recover until you were healed in 2011 in Brazil. Would you share how that healing came about? What protocol or healing modality finally helped you to recover?
Gregg: After being on various antibiotics for 8 years, I went off of them after suffering from a three-month bout of walking pneumonia. I was on four oral antibiotics at the time and my doctor gave me a fifth to fight pneumonia. When I jokingly said, “How can any bug live inside me? Now I’m on FIVE antibiotics!” He looked like he’d seen a ghost. “If these don’t work,” he said, I’m afraid I don’t know what else to do.” Well, they didn’t work, so I did the counter-intuitive thing and went off of all antibiotics. Shortly after, I went on some herbal protocols, and then after improving, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I found out about a healer named John of God who has a healing center in Abadiania, Brazil and I went there by myself. It was a 10-hour flight and a huge leap of faith.
The place isn’t like any place I’ve ever been. The energy in the air made my hair stand up on my arms and legs. John of God heals from 1-5 thousand people a day and he doesn’t charge anything… plus he gives you free lunch… a blessed broth that they give to anyone who shows up. The healing takes place when you go into a room to meditate and he comes in and says a blessing. Not long after, you feel anything from a surge of energy to little sensations on your body. Or sometimes you don’t feel a thing, but when it’s over you need to go lie down and sleep. Every time I’ve had one of these “invisible” surgeries, I’ve slept for 14 to 16 hours afterward, and you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. It does some very deep healing on a physical, spiritual and energetic level. My first visit, I experienced such a profound healing that it changed my physical appearance and made me look like I had age regressed 10 years. All Lyme symptoms disappeared.
Tricia: Tell me about the Ticked Off Foundation?
Gregg: I started the Ticked Off Foundation in 2015 as a result of touring the country with the Ticked Off Music Fest (which I started as a benefit concert series in 2013 www.tickedoffmusicfest.com) and meeting hundreds of Lyme patients. I really listened to what they told me, and most of them said the same thing. They needed support with treatment and financial assistance. Insurance wasn’t helping. Many of their doctors weren’t helping. They really had nowhere to turn and they came to our freakin’ music festival to try to get answers! I knew I had to do something about this. So I created the 501(c)3 non-profit to provide support for patients over the age of 25 who need counseling, financial assistance or information about treatments.The reason we set the age limit is there is already a great organization called the LymeLight Foundation who helps children and young adults under the age of 25 and we didn’t want to conflict with them.
Tricia: What motivated you to start this foundation?
Gregg: When we opened the doors to our first concert in 2013 an elderly couple with walkers came through the door as the music was starting and yelled, “We need help.” I thought the guy was having a stroke! But he was sick with Lyme and just wanted information. That made a big impression on me, and as I traveled the country, Lyme patients would come up to me sobbing that they had nowhere to turn for support. I couldn’t stand by and watch this happen.
Tricia: How is the Ticked Off Foundation helping others who are suffering from tick-borne illnesses?
Gregg: We are very cognizant of the fact that suicide is still the leading cause of death in Lyme patients, so we offer free counseling to those who request it. We also provide financial grants to those who are in crisis and need help with doctor bills, treatment or other financial aid. We never offer medical advice, but we can talk to patients about treatments that have worked for us and put them in touch with Lyme literate doctors in their area.
Tricia: What would you like others to know about the Ticked Off Foundation?
Gregg: We need financial help to give financial help to others. In other words, we need grants and donations to come our way to keep this good thing going.
Tricia: Where can others find you?
Tricia: How can we get involved?
Gregg: You can contact us through all of the above and you can reach out to Stephanie to get involved with our Recycle for Lyme program at http://www.tickedofffoundation.org/recycle-for-lyme/
Recycled for Lyme is a program operated by Stephanie from Pennsylvania. She is also a Lyme sufferer who had the vision to help others with tick-borne diseases. Her program accepts non-traditional recyclables and turns them into donations for Lyme patients.
Thank you, Gregg and Stephanie, for the very important work you’re doing to help those who are suffering from Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses.