I was an energetic, healthy, full of life 23-year-old until the summer of 2015, when after almost a year of testing I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. This debilitating disease has affected me both mentally and physically and has complicated numerous aspects of my life. Over the past year, I have lost over 40 pounds due to esophagus issues that make it difficult for me to hold down food. I currently have to walk with a cane as I experience moments of dizziness, muscle weakness and occasional loss of balance. An additional side effect from this disease has also been vision loss. I temporarily lost the vision in my right eye, but thankfully after almost three months of treatment through a Picc line IV, I have recently regained my eyesight. I still struggle with perception issues which leaves me unable to drive and dependent on others to get around.
This isn’t the first obstacle that I’ve had to overcome. At just 13 years old, I suffered from an auto immune disease called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (A.D.E.M) which resulted in a loss of my leg function as well as a delay in my arm movements. For months, I resided in a children’s hospital until I was able to learn to walk again and regain control of my arms. This was truly the most difficult time in my life and now Lyme Disease presents a new challenge to overcome, but I am facing it head on. I view my diagnosis as not just an obstacle, but as an opportunity. I plan to turn a negative into a positive by raising awareness around this devastating disease and bringing hope to those who are suffering from it.
Before I was diagnosed, I thought I might be crazy. I was dealing with so many different symptoms and wasn’t receiving any direct answers. One thing I did receive from several people was judgment. People who I thought were my friends weren’t understanding what I was dealing with and instead of being supportive chose to criticize me and say that what I was experiencing was “all in my head.” I’ve lost quite a few friendships but through those losses I’ve learned the value of true friends. From my personal experience I have come to understand why Lyme Disease is deemed the “lonely disease” and that is why I want to use my voice as a platform to bring attention to Lyme Disease and bring comfort to anyone who is feeling isolated.
I am a singer, song writer and musician and recently released my debut single “Paralyzed” on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and YouTube. This song was inspired by my battle with Lyme Disease along with my struggle with A.D.E.M and serves as a reminder to keep fighting and remain positive.
I am hoping that through my music I can help shed some light on the seriousness of this disease and also help anyone that might be dealing with a similar situation or personal crisis. I hope that people will be moved by the lyrics of “Paralyzed” and feel connected to my story . My wish is that this song empowers people to stay strong and never give up and helps them to see that there is ultimately a light at the end of this tunnel. If I can help even just one person, that’s enough for me.
Official Music Video: https://youtu.be/6JT2lJ