Prophetic last words: “The stuff I’ve been going through in my brain–ugh”
Popular San Francisco radio host Jeffrey “JV” Vandergrift often spoke on the air about his struggles with Lyme disease. On February 23, on what turned out to be his last appearance on his WILD 94.9 radio show, he gave the following alarming update:
“The stuff I’ve been going through in my brain that they’re trying to figure out. Ugh,” he said. He added that doctors told him they believed something might have “reignited old infections.” Then he added, “The body and the pain and all that stuff, I can handle. What it’s doing to my brain I could never describe to you.”
The next day, JV was reported missing from his San Francisco home. Shortly thereafter, his wife Natasha–also a WILD 94.9 radio host–posted the following on social media: “The amount of compassion for the physical torture J has been going through for the past 2 years has been overwhelming. I have been in so much pain and fear and I know all of you have been so scared and concerned for JV as well.” At that time, she said the family had reason to believe that “he will not be coming back.”
Sadly, on March 22, a month after JV disappeared, his body was found in the water near San Francisco’s Pier 39. Here is how his heartbroken colleagues at the WILD 94.9 broke the news to their listeners.
This Sunday, March 26, a screening of the Lyme documentary The Quiet Epidemic will be held at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater. While JV was still missing, the filmmakers had already planned to dedicate this event to JV. At that time, they posted the following on social media:
“JV was a supporter of The Quiet Epidemic and was in touch with our team. It’s incredibly sad that we won’t have a chance to meet him. We hold him and his loved ones in our hearts as we continue pushing our story and cause out into the world. This screening is dedicated to JV, his family, friends, 94.9 family, and listeners.”
I never knew JV and never listened to his show. But I hear elements of his story from countless people throughout the US–in fact throughout the world–who are being held hostage by an insidious disease that has invaded their bodies and brains.
To make matters worse, the medical establishment and government health officials have failed to act on this serious threat to physical and mental health.
In memory of JV and every other person suffering like he did, we must do our best to change this. The time is now.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, President of LymeDisease.org. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.