For Denise, With Love

‘We are very, very small, but we are profoundly capable of very, very big things’.

Stephen Hawking

My name is Paula Coogan. I’m 31 years old and I’m the owner of The Quarter Life Coach. I had a dream a few years ago that I wanted to be the ‘GoTo Girl’ for women in their 20s and 30s in Ireland whose lives were a million miles away from where they expected it to be.

I’ve been very fortunate and have been realising that dream for the past few years, having the honour and privilege of working with hundreds of people around Ireland, the UK and further afield. I’ve been supporting them to make the most of their lives, realise their dreams and become who they truly want to be. This is my work and my life.

When I first read Denise’s story, I’ll be honest- I turned away. It was too real, too close and it made me uncomfortable. Here is a woman, 31 years old, the same age as me, the same city as me and her dream is to LIVE. To survive.

I read her story and I did nothing.

I don’t watch the news because it makes me feel helpless sometimes. I see people’s stories and their struggles and I feel like I can do nothing. That I couldn’t possibly make a difference. I felt small. I read Denise’s story again, and again, and again because it kept coming up in my social circle. Again I did nothing. What could I do? What could anyone do? Part of me didn’t want to get involved for the most selfish reason there is- I was afraid of getting hurt. I was afraid of investing myself into the hopes and dreams of someone else and being hurt, of it not working out, of Denise not making it. Then it dawned on me:

Fear, not love was driving me so I made a different decision.

‘We are very, very small, but we are profoundly capable of very, very big things’. – Stephen Hawking

I am only one person. I have never met Denise yet I feel a connection to her and I want to help her achieve her goal. I want to help her to live. This is her story……


My name is Denise Ryan, I’m 31 years old. I suffer from a very aggressive and advanced case of Lyme disease.

denise 2I need to raise €100,000 to go to Seattle for 12 months of specialist treatment as soon as possible, without it my prognosis is terminal.

How I contracted Lyme disease – I moved to Toronto for work in 2009, during my 4 years there I made great friends and memories. I also had many mosquito bites and a tick bite, but I had never even heard the word ‘Lyme’ then.

I spent the last two years of my Canadian adventure going to doctors and consultants, as my health kept going downhill. I came home to Ireland because my illness was getting out of control. I was devastated because I had just been accepted into college in Toronto and was so excited to start learning a new career. Instead I spent the year at home going to more doctors and hospitals searching for answers. Searching for help.

In June 2014, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.

How my case became so severe –

As I went so long without a diagnosis and because I have severe mal-absorption caused by infections, coupled with a family history of autoimmunity, things have progressed to a life threatening state. I have gastroparesis, Lyme arthritis, severe osteoporosis, heart problems and muscle wasting. I’ve also developed serious neurological symptoms as the Lyme bacteria has spread to my central nervous system. Without proper nutrition my immune system can’t fight the disease and my body can’t rebuild itself.

denise ryan pic

Why the U.S.

After countless doctors, specialists and thousands upon thousands of euro spent seeking answers all over Ireland, the UK, the US and Canada, I found hope. Finally, I found a medical doctor, at Sophia Health in Seattle who specialises in my particular infections.  I spent 3 months there last year getting treatment after raising enough funds to go.

During that treatment, I started to feel improvement for the first time, and to feel like I had hope. But I couldn’t stay as I went on a Visa Waiver program and couldn’t afford to come home and go back. So the progress I was beginning to make, was lost, and my health has been quickly declining again.

What the treatment will be –

Due to the severity of my case, I need to return for 12 months of intensive treatment. This would involve IV antibiotics for the multiple infections, to bypass my debilitated gut.

Along with IV nutrients to help build my immune system and stop my body so rapidly degenerating. Extensive bloodwork for infections and  organ function, and constant supervision (my body is very hypersensitive and reactive).

Plus appointments with specialists who are also knowledgeable about Lyme disease, to deal with the complications the illness has caused for me. These will include a gastroenterologist for my severe gut problems, an endocrinologist for my infertility and bone density issues, an ENT doctor (ear, nose, throat) for the recurrent localized infections I have on top of the systemic infections, and a physiotherapist to help keep my muscles and joints moving because I can’t move much physically myself.

I’d also need home care as I can’t take a shower by myself or do basic tasks like cut up food, laundry or even change into pyjamas.

My hope for a future and how you can help –

It’s a huge mountain to deal with! But I’m determined to get through this and come out the other side, no matter how hard a road it is.

I want so, so much to be able to work again and spend time with the people I care about. To have some independence and some quality of life. To replace the daily vomiting, pain, inflammation, palsy and tremors, with being healthier, happier, and making plans to look forward to!

But –

Time is rapidly running out for me.

So every donation however small is a tremendous help! All funds raised go towards my urgent medical treatment.

Looking at it like needing 10,000 tenners makes it seem a little more possible!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much,



We have a goal. We have a mission. She needs 3,500 more tenners. We can make this happen. I am committing to acting out of love rather than fear. The world needs that and so does Denise.

‘We are very, very small, but we are profoundly capable of very, very big things’.

Time is rapidly running out for Denise. That really hit a nerve for me. That was something I used to say to myself-

‘I don’t have enough time.’

I hear it every single day from my coaching clients- over and over we tell ourselves that we are running out of time- that we need to do, be and have more before we hit 30, before we’re 35, before we have kids, we’re constantly berating ourselves for not being further along in our lives than we think we should be for our particular age. This puts it in a new perspective. Most of us are healthy, we are alive and the truth is, we do have time – we need to manage it more effectively.

So I’ve put together a Masterclass on Time & Energy Management and I’m offering it as a free download to anyone who supports Denise’s cause. We would ask that you try to give at least at tenner but if you can afford more, please give more. If you can only afford a euro- that would be accepted with deep thanks.


Follow this link to Denise’s GoFund Me page and make your expression and donation of support:

In the comments section, simply add the words ‘For Denise, With Love’ to your comment and we’ll get the masterclass over to you the next day!


Also, please SPREAD THE WORD about this. Use the power of social media, get your friends and makeadifferencefamily to help, your colleagues- anyone at all! The world needs each person to step up and contribute to something bigger- to act out of love and make a difference.

Thank you,


Time & Energy Management Master Class

During this Master Class, you will be focusing your attention on Time & Energy Management and what that currently looks like for you! We’ll look at your current habits and patterns of behaviour, we’ll discover if your priorities in life are actually being prioritised, we’ll talk about the myth of time management and we’ll develop new strategies for your own personal effectiveness and productivity.

You will have access to an audio/visual download that you can listen to or watch on your laptop, tablet or smart phone. You’ll also received a beautifully designed workbook to accompany the training to take notes, develop your strategies and new thinking around time & energy management.

If you feel overwhelmed and pulled in every direction with no time for you- this is the Master Class for you!

I hope you find it beneficial!

P x


With Trust & Love

If you’ve made your expression and donation of support to Denise and would like to access the Master Class immediately, please click here