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Michael Cunningham


Michael Cunningham died on Christmas Eve leaving 4 small children and his loving wife Kim. He was a staunch member of the ALS/Lyme group & a loving father and husband. His autopsy report just came back and his entry on the ALS/Lyme page has just been updated, as below. ************************************************************************** *************** Michael Cunningham Mike and Kim's story of ALS/LYME Hello everyone, so very nice to meet all of you. There are many blessings, in this nightmare, we have seen. Some of the very best friends, we could ever hope for, or dream of, we have met through all of this. We all will stick together, and we all will get through this experience, as confusing, and aggravating as it is, and in the end, we will be well, and have beautiful life long friendships, I just KNOW IT!! Now, to introduce ourselves. My name is Kim, and my husband's name is Mike. We have four beautiful children aged 1 1/2 - 6 1/2. WOW, yes, I know!! Mike's problems started back around September of 1999, with his right leg not working correctly. We originally thought, along with the doctors that this was probably a back problem, or neck problem, and from there Mike had all of the MRI's done, plus saw a back surgeon. We then found out, when they could find nothing there, and sent Mike off to a Neurologist, that something else had to be wrong. Along with this Mike also had some Fasciculation's(muscle twitching) in his shoulder, he noticed a little loss of strength, etc. So, to make a very long story short, we sat in the Neurologist's office on the day of April 4th 2000, and heard her say that Mike had ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and he could have anywhere from about 1-5 yrs to live. OH MY GOD!!!! Needless to say, our worlds fell apart, we cried, no longer slept, couldn't eat, and the list goes on. **Please note that the only tests that Mike had to diagnose his ALS, was 2 different EMG's, (which I heard were a hellish experience) and a basic blood test, to rule out some infections, or whatever. The MRI's were done to rule out the pinched nerves and back problems, etc. SO, then, after losing it, and crying out to God for several nights. I decided to ask Him to SHOW ME WHAT I NEEDED TO KNOW TO HELP MIKE GET WELL. I refused to believe that there was nothing that could be done, and that we all should just live with it. Then I met some wonderful people on the net, who suggested that Mike be tested for Lyme Disease. I read and heard Pat Pepper's story, plus several others. I met my now best friends, Terry and Matt from New York, who's story is almost identical to Mike's, and off we went to hunt for a Lyme Literate doctor. Now to shorten things up a little more. Mike had a complete blood panel for Lyme done, the Elisa, the Western Blot, the tests that check for the co-infections, etc. He came back equivocal on two bands. Band number's 41, and 23. OH YES, I thought, FINALLY, now we can get some kind of treatment to stop this nightmare. Mike also has taken a LUAT test, which showed 2 out of 3 positive. Good enough for me. Now is where, my story comes into play here. I got sick FIRST!!!! I have been very ill, and totally abnormal, you might as well say, for 4 1/2 years. I have a very long list of symptoms from anxiety, to sweating, to pain, to vision problems, the list goes on. I was diagnosed with Probably MS, and also Fibromyalgia, and all the other BS diagnosis' that goes along with this game. After hearing about ME, the doctors said "We need to test your WIFE". Ok, I figured, why not, I've had everything else done. Needless to say, I have now found out, after showing up on three bands myself, numbers 41,23, and 66 that I too have LYME DISEASE, and not that other crap. Now, here is an update, and facts about us, that may be beneficial to all of you. Mike was started on Doxy, and took that for 6 weeks. After stopping the Doxy, Mike noticed a BIG decline, and could no longer work. Then Mike was put on IV Rocephin, for 2 1/2 months, and lost that, due to the pic line closing up, and some reactions, which the doctor feared could be allergic reaction. Now Mike is trying the Bicillin shots, plus Flagyl, Zithromax, Diflucan (for yeast). Now then, I ask, "why such a rapid decline, and worsening SO FAST?" Mike went from walking with a limp, in April, when he was first diagnosed, to now, hardly being able to move. He has to use a wheelchair, plus his walker, to get around the house. His condition continues to decline rapidly. He noticed a BIG decline, when he stopped the Rocephin. That weekend, after that, he questioned whether he would make it through the weekend alive or not. The doctors that diagnosed Mike with the ALS, say that he probably has the rapid progression, and that they can't deny the Lyme, but they feel that the treatment will not have any effect of the ALS. WE DO NOT AGREE. Why would he have such a huge reaction to the antibiotics, if it wasn't linking into the ALS diagnosis?? Why would the antibiotics have any effect like that at all. We honestly can not say what will happen, but we are in a fight to save Mike's life, and anybody else, we are blessed enough to help along the way. We believe that Mike has shown the signs, that the doc is looking for, to point to LYME. We believe that if others have improved, or are well now, then Mike can TOO. So can all of you!!! I will give you all a list of Mike's symptoms and mine, so you can compare, but I find it very interesting that we have so many alike. I will keep you closely updated on me, and what I go through, so we all can compare, and hopefully see that most of this mess is LYME and not ALS. Mike ~*~ Kim pain, lots of it ~*~ pain, lots of it in the neck, hips ~*~ worst in my shoulders and arms also in hips and legs ~*~ and arms Pain in the male organs ~*~ Pain in female organs (testicle) ~*~ (pelvic) extreme sweating ~*~ extreme sweating occasional chills ~*~ chills at times fasciculation's all over his body *Just started to have some in his face Muscle twitching, in arms, legs involuntary rapid eye movement, twitching in face waves of nausea ~*~ waves of nausea stomach problems ~*~ stomach problems loss of memory ~*~ loss of memory and thinking thinking capability ~*~ skills mood swings ~*~ mood swings extreme stiffness ~*~ bad stiffness debilitating ~*~ abnormal in activity Kim anxiety, (panic attacks) vision problems, plus extreme light sensitivity, hearing change, buzzing, and ringing in ears female problems (abnormal cycles) Ok, I think that's about it, but will probably make changes, as the list changes, or increases. If anyone ever has any questions for us, please feel free to send them, or comment on things, etc. We are all in this together, and God gave us each other, to help lighten the burden, so lets all love and help each other. We look forward to meeting those of you that we do not know as of yet. We continue to pray for all of you, ALL THE TIME. Your healing will come, I know it. Love and prayers, Kim, and Mike, and kids Friday, November 24, 2000 MICHAEL F CUNNINGHAM DIED DECEMBER 24TH 2001 HE WAS DIAGNOSED ON APRIL 4TH 2000 WITH ALS, AND THEN SHORTLY AFTER WITH CHRONIC LYME DISEASE AND BOTH CO-INFECTIONS. HE FOUGHT TO GET TREATMENT. HE FOUGHT WITH DOCTORS, TO TRY TO MAKE THEM SEE, TO UNDERSTAND, TO BELIEVE THIS. NOW AFTER HIS DEATH, AND HAVING AN AUTOPSY DONE, WE HAVE THE PROOF WE NEED, TO SHOW THAT MIKE'S DEATH WAS DUE TO LYME DISEASE! HIS POSTMORTEM DIAGNOSIS, WAS LYME DISEASE. NOT ALS. NO WHERE IN THE AUTOPSY REPORT DOES IT MENTION ALS,,,,,,ONLY LYME DISEASE. MIKE'S SAMPLES AND ORGANS, WILL BE KEPT FOR RESEARCH AND STUDY, IN THE HOPE OF HELPING TO SAVE LIVES. GOD BLESS YOU ALL, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND YOUR PRAYERS.