She’s been poorly for as long as she can remember but Chloe MacDonald never knew why until a shock diagnosis this year.
The 25-year-old from Halifax had various symptoms through her childhood and began to feel worse as a teenager.
But she had to wait until January to discover she has Lyme disease, a bacterial infection which can be spread to humans by infected ticks.
Chloe believes she may have been bitten by a tick while camping as a child, but she will never know for sure.
“I have been poorly for a long time, from being a kid,” she says.
“I remember being very young and just having viruses and feeling unwell. I don’t know when it started. It’s really hard to put a number on it but maybe seven or eight.”
“Then, coming into my teens, I started to deteriorate even more. It got more intense as time went on and now I am not able to work.”
She had been working in a car insurance contact centre but was off sick so often that the company had to let her go.
Chloe describes the symptoms as ‘chronic’ and painful.
“I have chronic pain – a dull pain which is everywhere. I struggle with sleep as the pain keeps me awake most of the night.”
She adds: “It’s extremely difficult to deal with and is taking every part of my life away from me. I don’t get to do what I want to do – or to live.”
She also suffers from migraines and ‘brain fog’ which make it difficult to focus and to think clearly.
Chloe has been prescribed painkillers but says she has struggled to get any further treatment on the NHS.
“Treatment on the NHS is one course of antibiotics but this is only really for people in the early stages of Lyme. I found out I have got it in January this year.
“Doctors have never known what was wrong with me. I had to go private and get a blood test. They test your blood for different things which cost £2,000 to go private.
“I was very shocked and overwhelmed (about the diagnosis) because I never knew much about it (Lyme disease).”
Chloe and partner Adam Robinson are pinning their hopes on private treatment, which could mean a trip to a private clinic in Germany or Mexico.
Adam has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise £10,000 towards future treatment.
He said: “Chloe is now at a stage where she has deteriorated so much she can no longer work and earn money, or even get out of bed most days – she has a very poor quality of life.
“It is painful to witness her struggle every single day and have no form of relief.
“Seeing her struggle with depression and anxiety due to the illness stripping away every layer of her is heart breaking. She is not able to see loved ones and has no social life as every day is focused on survival and how to fight through the pain she is in 24/7.
“Chloe has had to grieve for the person she aspired to be, as at 25 years old she imagined to be somewhere very different in life by now. Things are only getting worse for her and the reality of her getting her health back is scarily far away.”
Adam says there treatment is available but it is expensive.
“The treatment she needs would be to see specialist doctors who combat Lyme Disease in a specialised clinic.
“The clinic is in Mexico and/or Germany, and the type of treatment Chloe needs is only available in these countries and would take 2-3 months for the full course.
“There is not a deadline for the money to be raised, however the sooner she has it the sooner she can start on her journey of recovery.”
The Go Fund Me Page for Chloe can be found here