TOUCHED BY LYME: Dr. Dave Martz, who overcame his own ALS death sentence with Lyme treatment, will keynote CALDA conference April 24
As Dave Martz lay dying, an idea serpentined around his mind and would not loosen its grip: Despite the absolute diagnosis and the insistence of the doctors, including a world expert, that he was dying of ALS, despite his own vow to face things head-on and reject the lure of denial, Martz couldn’t shake the notion that possibly, just maybe, he actually had Lyme disease. (from “Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic” by Pamela Weintraub.)
Dr. David Martz is kind of a rock star in the Lyme world. You may have read about him in Pam Weintraub’s Cure Unknown and seen footage of him in the documentary Under Our Skin.
His story is riveting. He had a lifetime of good health and a successful career as a physician practicing internal medicine-hematology-oncology for 30 years. Then, in 2003, Martz suddenly started experiencing strange symptoms. First deep fatigue, then profound muscle aches and body-wide pain. Soon he was too weak to get out of bed. As his condition rapidly deteriorated, his physicians gave him a devastating diagnosis: ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease). They said nothing could stem his physical decline and he would likely be dead within two years.
But events went in a different direction. As his health spiraled downward, Martz connected with a Lyme disease specialist who prescribed hard-hitting, long-term antibiotics. The gamble paid off. By the end of 2004, Martz was a new man. In fact, the doctor who had diagnosed him so definitively with ALS, now pronounced that condition completely gone.
Martz devoted the next two and a half years to a project that gave extended antibiotics to about 90 ALS patients, and demonstrated objective improvements in 15% of them. He has also treated more than 800 chronic Lyme patients, with good response and minimal side effects. That work is currently being written up for publication.
Martz is moving into a new phase of life now, having recently been named president-elect of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. His term will start in 2011.
Martz will be the keynote speaker at CALDA’s annual patient conference, “Getting Healthy Again in 2010,” on April 24. The event will be held at the Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA. For registration information, click here.