Discover why Taylor, a Lyme disease survivor, became a GLA mentor. Through her personal journey, she offers hope, support, and guidance to fellow warriors battling chronic illnesses.
My name is Taylor, I am 32 years old & have been battling chronic Lyme, co-infections & other chronic illnesses for 23 years. It is still a daily battle for me, but I will never stop fighting for the life I want to live.
Several years ago, I started sharing my story on social media in hopes that it would reach fellow warriors and let them know that they are not alone. For a long time, I questioned, "why me?" Why have I had to spend so many years suffering? Then, I realized I was put through all of this for a reason. I was meant to survive this battle & then use what I have been through to help others. I started sharing my story even more & started receiving messages from people saying how much it helped them. And there it was... THIS was my purpose. If I could help even just one person, all my pain and suffering would be worth it.
Discovering Purpose Through Pain
Even though I am still struggling with my own health, when I read about the Global Lyme Alliance’s peer- to-peer mentor program, I just knew I had to apply to become a mentor. I have all these years of experience with all the different doctors I’ve seen, all the different treatments I’ve tried, all the medical mistreatment I’ve endured, along with having to balance work, friendships, relationships.. I’ve been through it all! I have all this knowledge and experience that I wish someone could’ve shared with me at the start of my Lyme journey, and in addition to that I’ve found a way to find purpose through the pain, I’ve found pockets of joy that keep life worth fighting for.
A Life Beyond Lyme
I’ve found a way to not completely lose myself to this disease and now I can share all this knowledge and experience with others who are facing the same challenges I’ve faced. I know what it’s like to wake up every single day to excruciating pain, feeling absolutely horrible and not knowing when or if there’s an end in sight. I think of all the other warriors out there waking up to that same feeling and I just want to be there to tell them to KEEP GOING, YOU CAN’T GIVE UP! Life is worth fighting for. We have to find our pockets of joy. We have to find our reasons to keep going.
For me, I have my animals to take care of. They give me purpose and a reason to get out of bed every morning. I also have so many goals and things I want to accomplish so when I start to think I can’t do this anymore I just remind myself everything that I’m fighting for.
The Mentor's Role
I’ve slowly started to take my life back from Lyme & I want to help others to do the same. I want to show my fellow warriors that we can love our lives more than we hate our pain. Most importantly, I just want my fellow warriors to know they are not alone & that it can get better, and until it does, I’m here to help. I firmly believe I was put through all of this so I could become someone else’s survival guide & that is why I became a mentor.
To join our peer-to-peer mentor program, or for more information, click here.
Taylor deRegt resides in California and has been battling Lyme Disease, coinfections and other chronic illnesses for most of her life. While it is still a daily battle, she is taking strides to take her life back from Lyme. She now has an animal therapy farm which you can learn more about on her Instagram @taylormademinifarm. She is also passionate about spreading awareness and being an advocate for those battling chronic illness. To see more of her journey visit her Instagram @taylynnderegt.