Brave Denise's final bid to beat horror illness

Denise Ryan

By Robin Schiller

A Dublin woman is in need of immediate medical treatment to get her life back before it is too late.

Denise Ryan (30), from Rathfarnham, contracted lyme disease while living in Canada, a condition which originally went untreated.

She was forced to come home after a four-year stay in the North American country.

She spent the last two years of her time there going to doctors and consultants but "to no avail".

Back in Ireland, Ms Ryan's illness has still gone untreated and has now reached "life-threatening" stages.

"It's crazy, you've no quality of life, I can't work I rarely go out anymore, I don't even have a normal sense of touch because the disease affects your central nervous system," she told the Herald.

"As I went so long without a diagnosis, things have progressed to a life threatening state."

Side-effect symptoms include pneumonia, gastro paresis, chronic gastritis, candida, strep and clostridia infections.

"My immune system, organs, digestive and central nervous system are under constant attack.

"I'm completely debilitated and after countless doctors, specialists and thousands upon thousands of euro spent seeking answers all over Ireland, the UK and Canada, I am left with only one last treatment option," she adds.

The last resort to combat the condition is a clinic in the United States, but due to the complexity of the nature of the cases the practice that deals with the treatment is very expensive and involves months of IV medication, nutrients and other therapies.

She is expected to head over to get the treatment in three weeks but is worried that funds won't be raised in time.

The practice in Seattle is Denise's last hope, as she explains how severe the situation is getting.

"I'm going bald, I've no energy.

"I can't enjoy time with my friends or go out anymore so if I don't get the treatment in time it may be too late," she said.

Ms Ryan set up a page on called in order to get funding to help with the treatment as her family simply can't afford the huge medical expenses associated with it.

Half of the €30,000 necessary to pay for the treatment has already been raised, but a further €15,000 is needed to meet the full medical costs.


The fundraising drive had initially stalled after a couple of months, but began to gain momentum recently.

"I wish for my life back. I wish to be with my friends, to work, to laugh out loud, to be able to see straight and not watch the world through a blurry surreal lens - for the palsy, seizures, collapsing, vomiting, pain, burning, suffering and delirium to stop," she said.

To try to fund the procedure, Ms Ryan and her friends are hosting an "ugly jumper day" on January 9 and are urging people everywhere to "whip out your ugliest jumper and enlist your colleagues in an Eoin McLove-style fundraising extravaganza".