I'm far up North right now. I'm in a cabin that I'm sharing with my parents and three kids. We don't have a TV and limited internet access. To drive into town is about 30 minutes. I have been enjoying long afternoon runs surrounded by nature and solitude. The kids love splashing in the lake when I can successfully detach them from their phones.
This place called Ely, MN, is a sanctuary of beauty. It takes your breathe away. It is also the place that brought healing to my broken body, 21 summers ago.
It's hard to believe that Lyme disease invaded my body, a lifetime away. A disease that was ignored by Doctors and eventually misdiagnosised as Fibromyalgia.
I woke up paralyzed that Spring morning at the young age of 24. I felt like as I was dying as each day passed. Inflammation overtook my body. My hips and back felt like I was 85 years old. My eye flared up with iritis. The light was not my friend so I sat in the dark, in my room. I couldn't turn my neck. My inflamed body made driving impossible. And the Doctors said it was in my head. I felt like I was dying.
But at the end of the summer, I found healing in this magical place. With breathtaking views from the cabin, hot sauna's in the evening, and fresh air to breathe. I left Ely, MN, that summer only using my crutches in the morning and at night, instead of relying on them, all day, for mobility. It was fifteen years later, when I was correctly diagnosed with Lyme disease and then two years later, with chronic Lyme disease.
And now I find myself here again, sitting on the dock, soaking up the sun, and fighting fatigue, and a re-occurring Lyme disease infection.
I recently encountered a doctor who was quick to dismiss Lyme disease and painted a picture of someone who complains, and never gets better, advocating for years of antibiotics. I wanted to have a sensible conversation and ask where he got his information from but I had to stay quiet per the request of someone I highly respect. It was not my place to tell the doctor he was misinformed. He actually told me to check my sources when I explained that the Lyme disease blood test has a 50% false negative rate or how late term, undiagnosed Lyme symptoms can cause cognitive problems. But he refused to listen. There is still so much educating and awareness we must do.
And this is why for the last THREE years, I have entered the Runner's World Cover Seatch Contest. My platform has always been about Lyme disease and how running, my "sweat therapy" has brought healing into my life. I'm not a fast runner but I have trained my body to handle the endurance of running up to 100 miles in under 30 hours. An accomplishment I achieved at Umstead 100 miler 2015 in Raleigh, NC.
I'm a Warrior. I have perservered. And I'll continue to do so each day that I'm given the gift to be able to run.
But I can't fight this battle alone and united, as a community of Lyme Warriors, our voice can be heard! Our stories can be told. My goal is to bring hope and healing to those suffering from Lyme disease. I have entered this contest to be your voice! I want to bring more awareness and education of Lyme disease!
Last year, and this year, I've had the honor to be chosen as a Top 100 semifinalist (out of 1,000 enteries). Today, 8/15, is the last day to vote for me. Copy and past this link to vote. When I can get wifi connected, I'll enter the direct link.
This will be the last year I can enter this contest as a I have achieved a personal career goal that will make me ineligible next year to enter the Runner's World Cover Search Contest. Going back to those great things that have been happening in my life...in the last year, I've worked dillentigilly to achieve the goal of becoming invited to join the SAG-AFTRA actors union! I'm waiting on my invitation, as I've earned enough SAG vouchers to join, as of August 2016! I'm excited to take my acting career to the next level but sad to leave behind this contest for 2017.
It would be so amazing if I made it to the Top Ten finalists for the RW Cover Search Contest 2016! But I need your support and your votes, more than ever! Please vote TODAY 8/15 and share this blog post. Your support is so appreciated! Thank You! Keep fighting, Never Give Up and Always Dream Big!