Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Stories from the Community

by Allie Cashel
Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Stories from the Community

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Though we work to raise awareness about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness throughout the year, this month is another opportunity for us to tell stories about the impact of Lyme disease on our communities every day.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been speaking with some of our Friends in the Fight about their experiences with Lyme and tick-borne disease. Everyone’s experience of this disease is different, but one theme was consistent — the strength it takes to fight Lyme.

How do these stories resonate with you?

Ali Moresco

When were you diagnosed with Lyme disease? 

I was diagnosed a few years ago. Like many, I went two years undiagnosed, seeing many specialists and eventually being told it was in my head. I went to Michigan once with my husband and subsequently had a “summer flu” for three months… shocker — it turned out to be Lyme disease!

How does Lyme disease affect your life toady?

Oh, let me count the ways, haha! I was a thriving PR business owner prior to being diagnosed. I now live with chronic pain, memory loss and a heart problem that was “unlocked” by the Lyme. I could count the bad ways, but choose to look at the good, like the direly needed work I am doing with Global Lyme Alliance. I feel like I have found my life calling in helping others.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Lyme disease?

I am sure this is the same thing everyone wants- but, I would love for people just to be aware of the dangers of tick-borne illness and take it seriously. It can truly happen to anyone- check for ticks, stay alert!

Hannah Olson

When were you diagnosed with Lyme disease? 

In 2015, after finally being advised to get a Lyme test, I was diagnosed with Late Stage Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease as well as three co-infections, Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichiosis.

How does Lyme disease affect your life today?

I’m several years in, and Lyme still affects me on a day-to-day basis. It affects my stamina, my mood, my short-term memory, and my overall energy in life. My fight with Lyme has been ongoing, but the strength I’ve gained through my battle remains unparalleled. In many ways, I’m grateful for Lyme because I don’t think I’d be such a bad ass today if it weren’t for the years of courageously fighting this disease.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is still so misunderstood amongst our population. It also varies from case to case, making each person’s recovery incredibly unique. Some people might take oral antibiotics for two weeks and be fine. Some may spend years trying countless treatments and still be fighting for a cure. That being said, I think it is important to not judge the process. We all heal at our pace and this disease doesn’t have a “magic cure”. Be there for your friends and family members who are fighting Lyme, and understand that their unique struggle might not be something you can Google and find a cure.

Mikayla Vacher

When were you diagnosed with Lyme disease?

I was diagnosed in May 2013 after searching for answers and being medically neglected by doctors for over six years. 

How does Lyme disease affect your life today?

Lyme disease has affected my life tremendously. It took my world and shook it upside down. In the beginning it was super difficult and frustrating learning to live this new life with Lyme, but now I feel like I have a good hold on it. You learn your limits and make the best of it. 

What’s one thing you want people to know about Lyme disease?

I wish people knew how serious and debilitating it really can be. Having others question your treatments or how long you’ve been sick for and “why are you still sick” is so hurtful. If you have a question, ask. But respect others’ decisions for whatever treatment methods they choose. Healing from Lyme looks different for every person. 

You Can Help!

Throughout the month, Lyme patients and our partners at Global Lyme Alliance will be sharing important facts, figures, and stories about Lyme disease. Get involved in whatever way you can — learn more so you can protect yourself and your loved ones, be an advocate to those facing frustrating questions and gaslighting, or donate to help conquer Lyme and other tick-borne diseases through funding innovative research, effective education and awareness programs. Thank you GLA for all of your work on behalf of the Lyme community!

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