This blog post is part of our People to Highlight Series during our 2020 Year-End Appeal. Each week we’ll be spotlighting a GLA community member who has helped to advance our mission. To support GLA during our year-end appeal, donate here.
by Jack Terry
Lyme disease has impacted my life incredibly, both in the present and in retrospect. I experienced a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to overwhelming fatigue, bone and joint pain, frequent headaches, trouble focusing, and neuropathy. After a few years of depression symptoms that never seemed to greatly improve, it was time for a change. We tried a holistic approach, testing my physical health too; at long last, we got an answer when my Lyme test came back positive.
For years I wasn’t sure if what I was experiencing was real. I wasn’t seeing any improvement with my mental health, and over time more and more physical symptoms came up
Being diagnosed with Lyme disease has given me many answers for a variety of health episodes in the past, such as kidney failure. My diagnois has been debilitating because Lyme disease is challenging, yet productive because I feel more connected to my body and what I need to be doing for it to feel its best. For years I wasn’t sure if what I was experiencing was real. I wasn’t seeing any improvement with my mental health, and over time more and more physical symptoms came up.
One simple blood test has given me my life back, and I’d encourage anyone looking for a potential answer to consider looking into Lyme disease if they are dealing with unexplained symptoms. Since being diagnosed and having treatment, my situation has improved immensely, but I am far from fully recovered. The numerous antibiotics, supplements, and IV treatments can only help so much.
Finding an alliance
My mom was the one who found Global Lyme Alliance. She is an avid researcher, and she searched endlessly for ways to help myself and people like me. That’s how she came across GLA. Global Lyme Alliance has given me hope. Knowing that there’s a community dedicated to helping those who suffer from this debilitating disease helps because I know that it’s not in my head. They make me feel heard, unlike some doctors I’ve seen in the past.
It’s so difficult to give back to an organization that already gives so much, but I decided to use the GLA platform to start a fundraiser for Lyme disease. I created the fundraiser for two reasons: to help fund important research for improving diagnostic tests and to spread awareness of how debilitating this disease is for those not treated soon enough. It frustrates me that countless people are undiagnosed and suffering from this illness without knowing the root cause; nobody should have to experience the pain endured from chronic Lyme.
I was overwhelmed with the number of people who showed their support to me and others like me. I raised over $8,300 for GLA. With this fundraiser, I felt like I was able to support a group that cares so much about this cause. If we all joined together, imagine the progress we could make!
As you may know, GLA is solely funded by donor support. Due to COVID-19, we have been unable to hold our usual fundraising events. Please donate below if you’d like to support GLA, our programs, and our mission.