"I have been sick every single day since June 2016," said Jennifer Eaglesham, a Fort Saskatchewan mother of two.

For the last seven years, Eaglesham has been dealing with symptoms such as joint pain, migraines, rashes, internal tremors, muscle spasms, and slipping discs, among others. These symptoms would change on a daily basis. She went through dozens of tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, CT scans, and other operations.

"I’ve been offered antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication almost every time," Eaglesham said. "I finally did decide to take it years back as a last hope, and it changed nothing."

While dealing with her debilitating condition, Eaglesham lost her father in 2019. She and her sister also took care of their mother, who was suffering from lung cancer and eventually passed in 2021. 

Not long after losing her parents, Eaglesham found a doctor who was able to give her a much-needed diagnosis. 

"I have mast cell activation syndrome, Lyme co-infections, multiple Bartonella infections, Epstein Barr, mycoplasma, toxic mold illness, nutrient and immune deficiencies, and more."

Although her diagnosis brought relief, her treatments required taking periodic trips to Calgary to retrieve supplements and special foods costing her up to $2000 a month.

With mounting costs for treatment, Eaglesham says she met a woman who found relief through stem cell treatment, an expensive procedure based out of Mexico. 

"It’s very difficult for me to ask for help," Eaglesham said. "I accept now that I do need help."

Eaglesham's friends Marie Smith and Kelsey Dalida helped set up a GoFundMe to help pay for her treatment.

"Jen truly has a heart of gold, and to have Jen in your life is like winning the lottery of friendships," Smith and Dalida wrote in the GoFundMe's description.

"As two of Jen's friends, seeing firsthand the pain and suffering she has gone through in the last seven years and not being able to give her the life she deserves is truly heartbreaking."

So far, their GoFundMe page has raised over $15,000 of its $45,000 goal.

"Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the overwhelming support. I am so grateful to all of you for your kindness and generosity," Eaglesham said.

Eaglesham's friends say that they know the power of community can help bring a brighter future for their friend.

"If you have ever met Jen, been surrounded by her presence or even crossed her path for a brief moment in time, you would know what an incredibly amazing heart she has," Smith and Dalida wrote.

"She would do anything for anyone, even if she didn't know you."

Local restaurant The Venue and yoga studio The Space is also showing its support by donating 100 per cent of proceeds from its Family Day (Feb. 20) buffet and silent auction towards the fundraiser.