Riverside County, CA
Current health: “Near normal and improving under treatment”
Mr. Ruben Lee Sims grew up in Orlando, Florida and later enlisted in the US Air Force and served in England, Louisiana, and Thailand. While in active duty for the military, Mr. Sims contracted Lyme Disease and several co-infections, but spent over thirty three years trying to get successfully diagnosed.
Mr. Sims first suspected he had Lyme disease in 1985, a few years after he believes he was infected. He was diligent in documenting and drawing his symptoms, however, despite persistent efforts to get help, he was not officially diagnosed until December 2015. He began treatment in January 2016 and is doing much better.
Mr. Sims spent years fighting misdiagnosis, and even a court martial, ultimately leading to his discharge from the military under psychiatric assessment. He has been an active self-advocate since the 1980s, sharing his story through MilitaryLyme.org, CaliforniaLyme.org, and with elected government officials. “My story represents the struggle veterans with Lyme disease face receiving healthcare at military and VA healthcare systems.”
He shares his story here in a Letter to Congressman Aguilar shared on LinkedIn.
He also has a GoFundMe campaign to continue his efforts advocating on behalf of veterans and victims of Lyme disease.