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Alicia E's Story

Letter to Rosie O'donnell describing life with Lyme Disease

Dear Rosie,

Hello! I am 18 yrs. old, and like many others am slowly dying with chronic Lyme disease. I was diagnosed about 10 yrs. ago, but have had the disease since I was probably about 4 yrs. old. In addition to my diagnosis, my 11 yr. old brother and my dad have it too. It is a very hard disease to cope with, not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, and financially.

Most of the time it has left me confined to my bed and unable to walk. Many times it has even left me unable to feed myself. I don't even know what it is like to be pain free. Though, I currently live in W.V., I tried to get treatment from countless doctors, but most of the doctors are illiterate on Lyme Disease. They say it is treatable and curable with a few weeks of treatment.

This is so not true. There is NO cure for chronic Lyme disease. There is not even a vaccine as of right now. The vaccine that they say they have, is a mistake; it is leaving people permanently crippled and it is said to offer only 40% protection from Lyme. Lyme is also misdiagnosed as many other illnesses such as MS, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, fibromyalagia, etc..

In my years of fighting this disease, I have endured quite a bit. The disease has caused some of my organs to quit functioning. I have had my appendix removed, my gallbladder, and a bypass on my intestines, which left me at 65 lbs.,and unable to digest even 0.5 grams of fat. All of these things you would think would be simple enough to diagnose and treat right away, but for each of these problems it took about two to three years each to finally be diagnosed.

This is due to the Lyme illiteracy of the medical field. They tried to tell me it was in my head, emotionally unstable, or that I was an anorexic. I almost died at their ignorance... With much work, I was able to graduate high school with honors. I tried to start college (I had straight A's, but had to quit because I just got too sick again). My desire is to become a doctor and go overseas and donate my time and knowledge to the ill and suffering people there.

Rosie, I wish I could just sit down and tell you my whole story. I know that you said your daughter was recently diagnosed with Lyme also. It will be so important for you to get as much info. on Lyme as you can. Make sure that it is the right info. though, because there is so much false info. out there. I think it would be wonderful for you to do a whole show on Lyme Disease. I would love to share my experiences with you and others.

We need you, Rosie. You would be a great spokesperson for helping us get the truth out about Lyme. We desperately need funding for this disease, so that we can find a cure. Please read this and help. This disease is a nightmare, and by doing a show on it and helping us get the word out, you will be helping someone else who is dying with Lyme Disease and doesn't even know it. Please feel free to contact me.

Thank you so much,

Alicia Echard

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