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By Dorothy Kupcha Leland

“Curious Intersection of Celebrity and Lyme Disease”

In June, Rolling Stone magazine featured an article entitled “Lyme Disease: Inside American’s Mysterious Epidemic.” It made note of the growing list of celebrities who have gone public with a Lyme disease diagnosis, naming Kathleen Hanna, Kris Kristopherson, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Osbourne, and others. Reporter Winona Dimeo-Ediger discussed the “curious intersection of celebrity and Lyme disease” and how famous people with Lyme disease have helped draw attention and funds to the fight against the tick-borne illness.

Lyme Disease Stole Shania Twain’s Voice

In the early 2000s, Canadian pop superstar Shania Twain was bitten by a tick while on tour in Norfolk, Virginia. She immediately started experiencing bouts of dizziness and other symptoms that interfered with her ability to perform. She told an interviewer, “I almost fell off the stage every night.”

Twain was subsequently diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease. She says at first, she didn’t connect her Lyme disease experience to another symptom she ultimately developed—dysphonia. That’s a vocal cord disorder that left her unable to sing for several years.

However, she underwent extensive speech therapy and vocal training, and has since recorded a new album. She has recently gone public with her battle against Lyme disease.

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