Big Lake woman seeks stem cell treatment for chronic Lyme disease

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It’s been seven months since Big Lake resident Kristi Hellen’s chronic and crippling Lyme disease diagnosis. Hellen found two treatment options: One was taking a combination of medications, herbs and supplements for two years. The other was stem cell treatment at a clinic in California. Infusio Clinic in Beverly Hills, California, uses a patient’s own stem cells to help battle the disease. To cover the cost of the $35,350 for stem cell treatment, Hellen and her family have established a YouCaring site to that’s raised just over $25,000 to date. Hellen will leave for her treatment Aug. 26. She will return to Big Lake on Sept. 11. (Submitted Photo)

It’s been seven months since Big Lake resident Kristi Hellen’s chronic and crippling Lyme disease diagnosis. Hellen found two treatment options: One was taking a combination of medications, herbs and supplements for two years. The other was stem cell treatment at a clinic in California. Infusio Clinic in Beverly Hills, California, uses a patient’s own stem cells to help battle the disease. To cover the cost of the $35,350 for stem cell treatment, Hellen and her family have established a YouCaring site to that’s raised just over $25,000 to date. Hellen will leave for her treatment Aug. 26. She will return to Big Lake on Sept. 11. (Submitted Photo)

Some days are better than others.

But lately, those days are rare and far between for Big Lake resident Kristi Hellen.

“I’ve never felt great,” Hellen, 38, said. “No, I never have great feeling days. Sometimes there would be a period 5 to 30 minutes a day that I would feel good. Now, that’s down to just 5 to 10 minutes.”

For the past 16 years the mystery surrounding Hellen’s crippling pain remained that, a mystery.

“I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia,” Hellen said. “I’ve been on a few medications, but those would only make me feel like 20 percent better.”

It wasn’t until about a year ago – and with the gentle persistence of a close friend – that Hellen would get tested for a disease she feared: Lyme.

Those test results have since given Hellen something she hasn’t had for almost two decades: hope.

Growing up in the Elk River and Zimmerman area, Hellen said she would spend a lot of time outdoors in her parents’ wooded yard.

Continue reading this Monticello Times story.

 

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