Alameda County, CA
Infected: 1998 and 2008
Current health: doing well, but not cured
Lyme disease: it’s real, folks. -Lia G
Lia G. is a scientist and a mother whose symptoms are at bay–for the moment. She knows she will always have to be extra careful to maintain her health via healthy food, sleep, exercise, and avoiding extra stress and toxins (smoke, alcohol, mold, chemicals exposure, etc).
While in graduate school at Cornell University in 1998, Lia was bitten by a Lyme-infected tick but did not notice a bullseye rash. She first went to the university health center when she noticed that her heart was beating irregularly and was pounding in her chest all day and night. She also noted that there was pain between her ribs and that she felt ill. She was sent to the cardiologist and a stress relief class. Her medical journey continued on with many misdiagnoses for ten years, until 2008 when Lia received another tick bite while camping in Mendocino, California. She developed an uncharacteristic rash, her previous Lyme symptoms became stronger and a new set of symptoms led her husband, a physician, to refer to her a Lyme specialist who tested her for Lyme and babesia. Her tests were positive, and she showed evidence of severe anemia and long-term Lyme infection. The previous ten years of cardiac, neurological, and endocrine symptoms suddenly made sense. She began a complex treatment protocol and was sick for more than a year. She is well now, and just ran the Tough Mudder race, billed as the ‘toughest race on the planet’.
When acutely sick, everything about day-to-day living was difficult, but she always had hope. Lia looked to her family and friends to guide her through her darkest days. She now derives comfort from helping others and empathizes with those who are tired of being told they are hypochondriacs. She is an advocate for exercise and healthy eating. Lia is encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm for new research and activism in the Lyme community, particularly in California. She is dedicated to improving Lyme (and co-infection) diagnostics and treatment as well as patient care and physician awareness.