WHY Was This Created?
I created the Smile Box because of my best friend of 20 years. We met in 7th grade and bonded over our love boys and strange food! We are still BFF’s to this day and always joke that we should have been a couple. She created a Smile Box for me during an intense episode of Peripheral Neuropathy (nerve pain). It was during a really rough month. I could hardly walk the pain was so intense. Imagine the feeling of walking on broken bones. That’s what it felt like. I actually had horrible thoughts that I would be in a wheelchair. My 87 grandmother flew out from Florida to help me. Yes, you read that right. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be the other way around. But Lyme can make you feel older than your oldest relative. My mom stayed up with me each night in tears and screaming from pain. We went to the ER 3 times in 1 week. I even tried to numb the pain with medical marijuana and ended up having a panic attack from too many edibles. My mom and grandma were trying to calm me down from my marijuana overdose. To paint a picture-imagine a 33 year old woman curled up in a ball spooning her mom due to paranoia. And the worst part was it didn’t even touch the pain. Oh the things we will do when we are desperate for relief! I even had to crawl to the bathroom in the middle of the night cause it hurt to walk.
What I am trying to get at is, her giving me this box really made me smile when I felt like I had nothing to smile about. Lyme is kind of like you are walking down the street and you keep getting hit by a car. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. You stand back up only to be knocked back down. This amazing gesture of kindness from my best friend was much needed. After I received her special gift I decided I wanted to pay it forward (are you also picturing Helen Hunt right now?) but didn’t know how as my health issues bled me dry of money! I went online that same night and created a gofundme.com account to start raising money for other people. Granted I probably needed to raise money for myself but decided with my family that this would help way more people. You see, I have a very supportive family, unlike many people out there with Lyme who are alone. I really just want to help bring the Lyme community together and make people feel special. This can be a very isolating illness. I hope this helps bring people together and feel a bit less lonely.
Who’s Behind All This Awesomeness?
A lady bitten by a tick..
It’s me! My name is Rebecca Galavan and I have Lyme Disease just like many of you or somebody you know. Insert tragic music here. For those of you that have Lyme, like me, you probably feel like you have gone through the worst breakup in your life. Because lets face it, with chronic illnesses such as Lyme you feel like you have completely lost yourself. And unlike a breakup you can’t do any of the same things you used to enjoy doing. There’s no drowning yourself in a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s.
It took me OVER three years and OVER 30 doctors including Naturopaths, Hynotherapist, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Dentists and Homeopathics to find out what was going on. I finally saw an amazing Genetic Specialist/Naturopath of Health Coach 7 who diagnosed me with Lyme, autoimmune reactivity and histamine reactions. I was very lucky to find him. And we are still working on everything. As most of you know there is still a lot of uncertainty with Lyme as it brings on many other underline issues, and so the cure is not simple nor fast.
It’s a very long and confusing journey once you have been bitten by a tick. This is the Road to Hana sort of road. There are lots of curves, turns and nausea before reaching your final destination. And unlike this road, the destination is not gorgeous waterfalls and flowers, instead its a diagnosis and finally treatment. (BTW, I always told myself I would never ever go on the Road to Hana again) A lot of people such as myself have absolutely no idea when they were bitten by a tick. I’m constantly asked if I was hiking in the woods when this happened. And I laugh cause I don’t remember this happening at all! I’m not even an avid hiker or camper. I like doing it. But I don’t go very often. My point is that you might live for years with this and not even remember that little bug biting you.
I currently live at home with my parents now in my 30’s (not exactly my goal). I was living in Southern California but was having so many health issues that I decided to move home for the support. Which was obviously my dream to move in with my parents. Sense the sarcasm?! For me it started off with vertigo, a bad cold and then woke up one a bright red face with bumps (Rosacea). It continued on to extreme dry eyes, sensitivity to light, irritation in sun, allergies to food, TMJ, Peripheral Neuropathy, SIBO, Candida, burning skin and Keratosis Pilaris. Super fun I know! Can you say hot mess? That’s me! Basically I’m telling you I understand what you or whomever you know that has Lyme is going through. I know we all have different symptoms and it’s hard to know what’s from Lyme. But overall Lyme sucks! This doesn’t even touch the money it costs to get treated. I have spent more money than I could have imagined on Lyme. Sometimes I sit and think about all the awesome trips I could have taken, bars I could have frequented, clothing I could have bought or money I could have donated. But that’s neither here nor there and no more looking in the past of what could have been. SIGH
I now am taking herbals and doing IV therapy to boost my immune system. I’m still working on my Lyme and other associated health issues. And while I can I will be sending Smile Boxes to help other amazing and courageous souls!
The Smile Box
This box is full of personalized goodness!
OH EMMM GEEE! They are pretty much amazing. I know I am biased because I am creating these little gems but if I received one I would be ecstatic.
These Smile Boxes have been tailored to people with Lyme Disease. I am obsessed with all things organic and natural. So that’s all you will find in these boxes. It makes it a bit more pricy to put together but so, so worth it. Many people with Lyme are very sensitive to chemicals and additives. And I also believe the more natural we can treat our bodies the faster we will heal. I have made sure each company we have chosen to include uses really good quality ingredients. I love the little guys, those smaller companies that will hopefully become big. Mostly everything that is edible is either Gluten Free or Paleo. Honestly, it’s hard to always eat this way but it makes a big difference for Lyme peeps and especially for Autoimmune Diseases. A lot of the products in the box are from my favorite organic companies that have either helped my Lyme or have caused no irritation. Some of the products have been donated as well and are always labeled so. Each box is a little different. But just to give you an idea you can look through the photos under the tab SmilesforLyme recipients. You might find things such as pajamas, candles, skin care, cosmetics, treats, snacks, bug spray, toothpaste, hand soap, jewelry and much more.