A member of the Utica Fire Department is battling Lyme disease and is in need of community support.

Joe Day is not only a Utica firefighter, he is a husband and father of two boys. Towards the end of 2019 and into the beginning of 2020, Joe was experiencing sheer hell when what  he thought was minor neck pain, turned into something more serious.

In January of 2020 Joe went to the emergency room and medical professionals struggled to come to a conclusion on what exactly was wrong. Joe was tested for MS, ALS, Lupus, a Brain Tumor, Leukemia, and Lymphoma. All of which came back negative.

In the midst of all the testing, Joe's health continued to deteriorate as he was beginning to have trouble walking, talking, opening his eyes and it made him unable to be left alone for long periods of time.

Eventually, Joe was referred to the Stram center, located in Delmar, NY. That center specializes in various cancers and Lyme disease. After diagnostic testing it was determined that Joe had Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease, but with a dark twist. Joe also found out that he had a genetic mutation called the "Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene" or the MTHFR gene. This mutation inhibits the body’s ability to efficiently rid the body of toxins.

Joe has almost 20 years on the job with The Utica Fire Department and while there his role as a Lieutenant includes being the coordinator of the Utica Hazmat unit, he works in the fire marshal's office, and until recently, was a Deputy Fire Coordinator with Oneida County. His recent diagnosis makes those responsibilities very challenging.

To assist Joe and his family during this difficult time a GoFundMe page has been setup titled, "Ticked off at Lyme Disease- Please help Joe Day." Since the page was setup 2 days ago, over $26,000 has already been raised. However, as much as they can raise would be greatly appreciated. The medical expenses that Joe and his family could incur range from anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000. Not only is there a financial burden, but Joe consistently goes through painful and exhausting treatments most of the week.

If you are interested in learning more about Joe's condition or what you can do to help, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/ticked-off-at-lyme-disease. Any support you can provide would be greatly appreciated. You can be a hero to a man who has made a career out of it.

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