LymeLight Foundation Grant Recipient, EmilyEmily – Headed in the Right Direction

My health issues started in childhood. From an early age, I was plagued with a laundry list of illnesses and conditions: ear infections, strep throat, sinus infections, allergies, chemical and environmental sensitivities, anxiety, and digestive complaints.

In the summer after 4th grade, I was so tired I slept all day and had a horrible crook in my neck. It was so bad that my family lovingly referred to me as “taco neck.”. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was probably when I was first infected with Lyme disease. I don’t recall a tick bite or a rash, but I was living in an area where we had many ticks, so it makes sense.

I had to leave public school for a semester in high school, but the real crash happened in college. I got hit with every infection that made its way around the dorm floor. As an honors student in the Health Sciences, taking time off felt like a failure to me. The final blow was my senior year of college when I got hit with a triple-whammy: mono, strep throat, and tonsillitis.

I knew as soon as I gradated that I would be heading back home so my mom could take care of me. I could no longer drive or really do any adult things for myself. I had been diagnosed with Lyme a few years prior but I didn’t know where to turn and, even if I did, I didn’t have the funds to pay for it. That’s when I found LymeLight Foundation.

By sheer happenstance, I ran into another girl my age who had Lyme disease at an IV clinic and she told me about LymeLight. I was so happy the day that I found out I was awarded a treatment grant, I cried and cried.

It’s been a year since I was awarded the grant and I am so filled with hope for the future. I am still very sick, but the most important thing is that I now have real, tangible hope and a direction for my treatment. I used to feel like I was floundering but now my compass points north and I know where I’m headed.

I am beyond grateful for the LymeLight Foundation for helping lift this financial burden from me and my family. I can’t wait to get better so that I can host a fundraiser to give back to LymeLight all that they gave to me. Thank you.

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