Teen Dreams Up Project to Raise Awareness Unique car magnets draw attention to specific types of Lyme problems people might not know about.

By Dorothy Kupcha Leland

A Pennsylvania teenager and her mom have come up with a great way to raise Lyme disease awareness in their community. They want to share the idea with everyone. And it’s so easy, you could even do it from bed.

Lyme disease awareness

Sarah P, who prefers not to give her last name, was bitten by a tick at age 13. She didn’t have a bull’s-eye rash, a fever, or joint pain—so her pediatrician said, “Nothing to worry about. You’re fine.” (Even though Pennsylvania is a hot bed for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.)

Over the next several years, Sarah developed many seemingly unrelated symptoms that would come and go. Anxiety, headaches, leg pain. Followed by heart palpitations, GI issues, and memory problems. Eventually, POTS /dysautonomia symptoms set in, causing dizziness, nausea, and migraines.

No Answers

Sarah saw a lot of specialists: a dysautonomia clinic, a neurologist, a G.I. doctor, an ENT, cardiologists, and physical therapists. Still, no answers and no improvement.

Then a neighbor told Sarah’s mom that her own daughter had been diagnosed with POTS as well. And it turned out that her POTS symptoms were caused by Lyme disease. Spurred on by their neighbor’s story, Sarah’s family sought out a Lyme-literate medical doctor. That LLMD diagnosed Sarah with Lyme and co-infections.

Throughout the arduous treatment process, Sarah and her mom wanted to warn other people about how one bite from an infected tick can ruin a person’s life. But how can you do anything when you are so sick and exhausted? How do you join a Lyme march in Washington or give a public speech when just getting out of bed is so difficult? The idea of Lyme advocacy seemed utterly impossible. And then Sarah had an idea.

Car Magnets

While out on a drive with her mom, Sarah noticed a car sporting an awareness magnet for another disease. Hmmm, she thought. Could that work for Lyme? Would people even pay attention to it?…..Join or login below to continue reading.

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