- Event Dates: July 2016
- Location: Colorado
- Amount Raised: $1987
How can you help? Support Mike and LymeLight Foundation with each mile of his journey.
Mike Rouse will be hiking the 500-mile Colorado Trail to raise funds for LymeLight Foundation and bring awareness to cause of Lyme disease. Only about 20 people complete the hike each year and it will take him between 4 to 6 weeks to complete the journey. He wants to inspire those who are ill with Lyme disease to have the courage and hope that they can get better and enjoy life again. Mike’s goal is to raise $10,000 funding a full treatment grant for one child.
The Colorado Trail is a long-distance trail running for 486 miles from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango, Colorado. A hiker traversing the entire length of the trail will gain (and lose) about 89,000 of vertical feet. On the trail hikers carry everything they need on their backs including their food, clothing, and camping gear. Mike plans on hiking an average of 18-20 miles per day in order to finish the trail before summer school starts.
Mike Rouse is a 37 year old graduate student who is getting a master’s degree in Finance with an Economics specialization. He grew up most of his life in Denver, Colorado and attended Columbine High School where he played football and rugby and wrestled. He attended Colorado State University where he earned a double masters in Biology and Nutritional Science and he was also on the rugby team.
At the age of 15, Mike was bitten by a deer tick; unlike many Lyme sufferers, the symptoms didn’t impact him right away. After a few months, Mike did start to notice that he required 3-4 naps per day, that he became slightly depressed and that he couldn’t think as clearly as he used to. Instead of investigating these new symptoms, Mike just adjusted to them and thought that was just going to be his new normal the rest of his life.
Around age 30, Mike was in Graduate School at Trinity College, Dublin Ireland. He was walking home from school on the same route that he had taken for the last 6 months and he didn’t recognize where he was and how to get home. Luckily, a Garda (policeman) found him and he eventually regained his memory and found his way home.
After returning to Denver Mike moved in with his parents and spent the next 2-3 years mostly bed-ridden. He spent all of his life savings looking for a treatment and eventually had to file for bankruptcy because of the surmounting medical bills. It wasn’t until three years ago that Mike finally found a Lyme-literate Doctor who began treating him. Within about 18 months, Mike started to improve greatly and was starting to get his life back. He is now fully healed from Lyme disease and is working to heal his co-infections. Mike attends graduate school full time and works part time. He also is very active and very involved in his church and a men’s ministry.