Meeting to shed light on insidious Lyme disease

Excerpted from ( Posted: 08/15/2011) 

When she was 13, she ran cross country, biked, hiked, played soccer, ice hockey, “any sport you can think of,” she said.

Then one day, the teenager’s joints began to hurt. She was tired. She slept all day. She couldn’t walk. She stopped going to school.

She was misdiagnosed with depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia.

She was misdiagnosed for four years. Then she started having seizures.

Kelly, now 17, was eventually correctly diagnosed with Lyme disease — even though she never had the tell-tale rash.

By the time Kelly was diagnosed — her family believes she contracted the disease when they vacationed in New Jersey four years ago — the Lyme was at such an advanced stage that she needed round-the-clock antibiotics.

Her family moved from Colorado to Missouri in order to live next to a treatment facility. When that failed, they moved to Nashville, Tenn., where Kelly underwent special “detox” treatments, to teach her body to naturally fight the tick-borne illness.

These days, Kelly is two years behind her classmates academically. She still has seizures.

“When I got Lyme, everything changed. For the last three years, I haven’t played sports, I’ve lost good friends,” Kelly said. “With Lyme, it’s not just feeling bad — it will change your whole life, physically and emotionally.”

Her cousin, Megan Madara, 19, of Westport, has seen the physical and emotional toll Lyme has taken on her once-vibrant cousin. And she’s out to spread the word on the disease.

“My cousin’s life was turned upside down by Lyme disease. I wanted to do something to help her, but the only thing I could think of was to tell her story and prevent the disease in others,” said Madara.

She has co-organized a Lyme Disease Awareness event, “The Known and The Unknown,” to be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Westport Grange on Main Road. The event is free and open to the public.

For the complete article:

~ by Rob on August 16, 2011.

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