TOUCHED BY LYME: Two Olympians, different outcomes
Congratulations to Lyme warrior Elena Delle Donne and the entire US women’s basketball team, who took gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Delle Donne has battled Lyme disease for the past eight years, and has actively promoted Lyme disease awareness through a variety of channels.
Another Olympian didn’t place as high, but also deserves our admiration. Canadian triathlete Kristen Sweetland placed 41st, after two seasons of ill health. At the close of her Olympic event, Sweetland used Instagram to let her fans know that she has been suffering from late-stage Lyme disease, and that she will now “return home to start proper treatment.”
Here’s what she posted:
kirstensweetland It’s crazy to think that my love of the forest is what’s caused me so much harm! While it is widely known that I have been suffering from illness the last 2 seasons, a clear diagnosis was yet to be made beyond bits and pieces. After much testing we were finally able to reach a diagnosis from a test done after our final Olympic selection event in Yokohama this year. I’ve kept quiet because I didn’t want it to define my Games experience in anyone else’s eyes, or my own. We now know that I have late stage Lyme disease. I’m so proud to have made it this far under such circumstances and couldn’t have done so without the amazing doctors I was able to work with thanks to my title sponsor and moral support from those closest to me. Now, after a little fun of course, I will return home to start proper treatment and start trekking that road back to a strong, healthy Kiki! I’m not accepting this as a sentence, just another setback. And we all know I’m good at those 😉 I hope that in the future I can be an example for those with Lyme disease that it doesn’t have to define you or stop you from living your best life and reaching your goals!
Thanks again everyone for the tremendous support and congrats to all of the Olympians from around the world!! What a special experience!! Now for the fun! #lyme #lymediseaseawareness
Kudos to both of these fine athletes, and we wish them well in their Lyme disease journeys.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at email@example.com.
- August 22, 2016 at 9:14 pm
Thanks for reporting about these two women who participated in the Olympics – that’s an Olympian effort in itself, for Lyme patients to participate at this level! Wow.
Ok – this is a shout-out for Kirsten – when I first heard about Lyme, I heard about several runners who had contracted it via running outdoors, so just want to let you know this happens to many in this manner.
All I can say at this point is, no matter what we do outside, we’d better do it smart, as in using adequate bug protection, checking ourselves and pets, and staying in the middle of the path without touching the edges of vegetation or contacting wood, etc.
I know, it’s really a game-changer, and such a shame that we even have to protect from our wonderful natural environment, but the alternative is not worth it, not until scientists figure out how to make nature safe again. I’m kind of hoping for development of some affordable effective sprayable treatments. I have heard about carvacrol and Alaskan cedar nootkatone, but have not heard about any serious doable applications of anything yet.
- August 31, 2016 at 6:47 pm
I’ve been diagnosed with Lymes disease. My PCP delivered the news to me . The diagnosis came after several trips to her office in states of confusion, head crackling, vision comprised and other symptoms lymes brings.
I followed up with an infectious diseases Doc and he said he doubts lymes disease. I was in shock testing positive for 4 out of the 5 for lymes. I have most of the symptoms of lymes. I am trying to get a second opinion and I was turned away twice for my second opinion. What happened to human compassion? I live in Las Vegas not a kind, compassionate, loving place to live.
I will research and search for the medical attention I need to get Well again. I will not be defeated or defined by this disease. I will not exposure the 2 Doctors that have turned their back on a very sick person. However I will pray for them to become better Doctors in their pratice. It’s difficult to be pushed aside and still have the energy to combat this disease.
We invite you to comment on our Facebook page.
Visit LymeDisease.org Facebook Page