You Are Not Alone Anymore: Jesse Ruben’s Battle with Lyme Disease Singer’s poignant anthem encourages sufferers around the world

By Tiffany Salmon

J esse Ruben is a New York-based singer/songwriter with a popular song called “We Can,” which he wrote after running his very first marathon.

The song symbolizes his feel-good, upbeat personality and he intended for it to encourage people to know that nothing is impossible. He carried that belief with him when he ran the New York City marathon every year—raising awareness for people with paralysis. During this time, Jesse was in the best shape of his life. He had no idea that Lyme disease would put his own beliefs to the test.

It started with flu symptoms that wouldn’t go away. He’d just started dating his girlfriend, and a few months into the relationship he was sleeping on the wooden floors of her apartment because it felt cooler than the bed. The flu symptoms would last for a few months, go away temporarily, and then return.

Then came dizziness and nausea. When he went to the doctor and got blood work done, he was told everything was fine. Just a couple of months after he ran the New York City marathon, Jesse had trouble breathing and walking up stairs. The symptoms progressed to brain fog and fatigue. He would spend up to seven hours of the day staring at the ceiling. He would be on stage and forget the words to his own songs—songs he had poured his heart into when writing them. He went to 10 different doctors who all gave him different diagnoses: vitamin D deficiency, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome, among others.

Jesse couldn’t listen to music, read, or watch TV. His relationships with his family members and loved ones became strained. People questioned whether there was anything wrong with him because he looked “fine.” His family suggested that he see a psychologist.

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