Vanessa Boyd - the 28-year-old Dronfield woman fighting for her life after being infected by a tick-borne disease - has been touched by fund-raising efforts to sponsor treatment in an American hospital.
Last weekend, as Vanessa was in the fourth month of a nine month intensive therapy and intravenous antibiotics in Washington DC, supporters at her local Akademy boxing gym donated more than £700 at a night in her honour. A boxing glove donated by Sheffield world champion Kell Brook raised £200 alone.
Vanessa was misdiagnosed in England for 12 years before it was discovered she had late-stage Lyme disease.
She had been proscribed anti-depressants and, at one stage, told to go and see a priest.
Her sister Maria Robinson, also from Dronfield, says the NHS are behind the times on treatment.
But pioneering work in the States has given the family hope as the disease has attacked her heart, brain, central nervous system and eyesight. Maria said £18,000 of an initial target of around £100,000 has been raised to pay for her private treatment and the family had been touched by the warmth of people in Dronfield and elsewhere.
“It is amazing, my sister is absolutely bowled over with their support she has been receiving from local businesses and people who don’t even know her. We have had auctions, raffle prices, individual donations. We have a long way to go but every little helps.
“Doctors (in Washington) are hopeful they can help and give her back a quality of life. The doctor is the best chance she’s got at the moment.”
The family have set up a petition calling on the government to “develop accurate NHS tests and treatment protocols for Lyme disease.”
8,210 people have signed it.
To help Vanessa, visit: http://gogetfunding.com/support-vanessas-fight-against-lyme-disease/