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 email@example.com.