In 2016 my mother Linda was bitten by a tick in Tuscany that infected her with Bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi, known as Lyme disease. In its chronic form it has caused her joint inflammation, brain fog, anxiety, depression, panic attacks and gradual collapse of the immune system. As a result of Lyme and Bartonella (another infectious disease transmitted by ticks) my mum is constantly in pain and fatigued because of the insomnia caused by the bacteria.
Unfortunately, this disease is under-researched and there is no consensus on the best treatment. There is no vaccine either. My mother was misdiagnosed as healed after taking antibiotics for 4 months. However, in February 2017 the symptoms were still there and she decided to seek attention by travelling to a specialised doctor in the Netherlands, where after a blood test she was told the still had Lyme. Treatment with herbals, diet and integrators is helping but is expensive and very slow. To this day, she –as many other Lyme patients- has to seek specialised medical attention abroad, bearing all the financial costs (not covered by health insurance) which roughly amount to £1200 pm. These are no easy times.
My mum is the strongest women I’ve seen on earth. She is director of her growing start-up (https://connectingtalents.org/), is a magnificent Tango dancer, is full of positivity and has always supported me and my sister is pursuing our dreams. Yet, we recognise that for a lot of Lyme victims things are a lot worse. Lyme can cause cardiac failure, some suggest Alzheimers, physical disability and can ultimately lead to people taking their life because of living with unbearable pain and the humiliation of being treated as a fool, liar or hypochondriac instead of being given the right medical attention.
This is why I am running the Edinburgh Half Marathon on 26 May 2019 to fundraising for Lyme Disease Action (LDA) – a UK charity raising awareness and fighting for the lives of Lyme victims. All the funds raised will be used for medical research, because this is, in our eyes, the most pressing issue. In these months, I will also regularly post about prevention and treatment of Lyme disease - distributing LDA’s informative material. While the financial burden on our family is heavy, we think that long-term improved prospects for Lyme victims will come from better healthcare services for patients and Lyme being recognised as a pathological condition and approached accordingly – hence this fundraiser/awareness campaign.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
make sure you are protected against ticks while enjoying the outdoors and tick-populated areas;