TOUCHED BY LYME: 20-year-old’s advice to her 14-year-old self: “You gotta have hope”
The “co-stars” of this unique video are each the same person, at different stages of her Lyme journey
The young woman in the photograph is doing a cartwheel—something she couldn’t do six years ago, when she was wheelchair-bound from Lyme disease. At that time, her body was wracked with pain, 24-7. She had a cascade of other symptoms as well, which made it impossible to go to school, to carry on with normal daily activities, and often, even to get out of bed. Life seemed bleak indeed.
Yet, out of her pain and misery, Rachel created a gift that has just recently resurfaced. In March 2006, she spoke to a video camera about how she was feeling and her frustrations with doctors who refused to recognize that Lyme disease even exists in California. It is a visual record of a young teenager trying to make sense of her desperate situation. Her demeanor seems calm, but if you study it closely, you can see the fear and vulnerability trembling below the surface.
But here’s the twist. Last weekend, after she re-discovered her earlier footage, Rachel recorded her present, healthy, walking self, responding to the same questions her younger self had answered. She edited the old and new together, cutting back and forth between 2006 Rachel and 2012 Rachel.
Together, the two Rachels have valuable wisdom to impart. Take a look:
Rachel currently attends college in northern California.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- May 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm
She is awesome for making this video. I’m working on a blog right now about growing up with Lyme Disease. I’m struggling to be an adventure education major and keep up with constantly moving. Every-time I get myself to do some strenuous activities I find myself bed ridden several days later. Is always nice getting hope from other people going through the same thing.
- May 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm
Thank you for posting this video and reminding us that it is possible to overcome this challenging disease. Bravo to Rachel for reworking the video to juxtapose the before and after. She did an excellent job.
- May 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm
I am also twenty and went through Lyme in my teen years. Always inspiring to see what people can go through and make it to the other side. Its also a great reminder Lyme patience are never alone and support from family and friends make all the difference. Thank you so much for posting this.
- May 2, 2012 at 1:24 am
Very well done! I think you demonstrate very clearly the difference between the before and after. I think it is totally shameful what regular doctors are putting everyone through, and I’m glad that there now appears to exists a definitive test for Lyme, through Advanced Laboratory Services in PA. Congratulations to you for making it through and inspiring others to do the same!
- May 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm
Bravo Rachel! You have grown into an awesome articulate woman. Your video is wonderful and will give others hope. Love ya, M
- May 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm
- May 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm
one of the best video’s i have seen on lyme. give hope and love how well Rachel is doing.
- May 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm
So proud of You!
- August 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm
i watch all video wishing she put the dr lyme name……please share.
- August 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm
How were you guys treated and by who? What meds did they give ya?????
- July 29, 2016 at 2:05 pm
Well done. I’m trying to help my daughter also. Everyone doubts she could have,lymes or they don’t know right tests. My friend,went mayo clinic so they tested her said,she did not c have it. She did. Suffering terrible until a chiropractor said she did. This was an amazing answer to prarie. She was completely paranoid. 5 months later no pain her mind great..so I’m going day by day praying for God’s help to find right dr.right diagnosis. I’m living by God’s grace daily, as her mom..or,would give up. Your right keep hoping. Jesus,never fails. So happy for,your recovery and,speaking up to help others. Pray all who need this video will get help they need! Thank you💖
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