Rocky Mountain Moms With Lyme, Part One ~ Making A Difference

These moms and many more are living with Lyme Disease in Northern Rocky Mountain states.  Just surviving this illness makes them all heroes.  But the longer they live with this illness, the more they learn, and the more people they reach, in their communities and beyond.

Please note that there are many more than those mentioned here making a difference.  This is just a starter set, because May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and because we are heading toward Mother’s Day.

I also think we could all use a pick me up, after a local station just reported we don’t have Lyme disease here.  We know it’s not true, obviously, but it still hurts to see, and we will use our super hero powers to fix this part of the problem, too!  In fact, a very nice mom-style note is often just the thing to get a warranted correction.

And please also note that if you are a mom with this disease, struggling with diagnosis, treatment, or getting by from day to day, you are making differences for this illness you may not even know about yet.  And the business of adapting and persevering is the biggest and hardest.  Whatever you are doing is enough, you are enough, and you are NOT alone.

You will soon see contacts for multiple areas in multiple states, so you may even find you are not as alone in your own community as you thought you were.  This winter, during an all to familiar bout of insomnia, I quite accidentally found a mom in the process of being diagnosed about a mile away from me.  Where I live, as for many of you, that is a VERY big deal.

1919037_1431228858724_996259_n
Daenzer family (stand-ins may or may not be representing some family members in this photo).

Each of the moms in this post is surviving this illness and reaching out to other patients in various ways, big and small, visible and not visible.  If you want to reach out, too, please get in touch, as there is a LOT you can do this month and in general if you are interested.

We want you to know you are valued, appreciated, and admired, and that the Lyme community applauds all the contributions you make and are about to make in your communities and across the region.

Before we talk about a few amazing moms, we’d like to give a brief list of just some of the challenges that these moms and other Northern Rockies Lyme patients have in common:

  • Misdiagnoses
  • Delayed Care
  • Obstacles to Treatment
  • Financial burdens from non-covered treatment
  • Families forever changed by Lyme
  • Lives and careers interupted

If you are a mom living with Lyme here, please share with us, either the basics of your journey or your story.  Or even just a picture we can add to another post!  You are super heroes, and you are not alone. Even in the mixed emotions of Mother’s Day you might experience this or any year because of Lyme and it’s impacts to your life and your family.

You will see some or all of these mom’s cross posted on pages in various categories as pages evolve, such as partners or contacts.  There will be further information about their businesses, non-profits, efforts and events, also (and we’d love to list yours as well, so again, feel free to get in touch via contact forms on the site or email Angela at northernrockieslyme@gmail.com–sometimes I don’t hear in time for  feature or project, or maybe drop a note if i can use your info or photo in general, so I can still get you in when that happens).

Wyoming ~ Buffie LaRocca

11251700_10206331735283125_1137898214_nBuffie LaRocca is a mom, wife, sister and volunteer enthusiast with a background in theatre arts and nonprofit management. She was a traveling actor for years, spending many summers in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Orleans, New York, Oregon and other states. She now lives in Wyoming, but grew up in the Flathead Valley in Montana where she was an avid outdoors girl. By the time she’d entered her 20s, more ticks had bitten her than she could count, but her immune system seemed to keep any tick-borne illnesses she’d contracted at bay…that is, until she gave birth to a premature son.

Montana ~ Kathryn Peterson

k001Kathryn is a wife, a mother of three and a small business owner. She is driven by her love of her family, her creativity and her desire to experience life to its fullest. She enjoys the outdoors, photography, painting, custom cake making, quilting and whatever else she can get her hands on to express her creativity. She’s also always enjoyed caretaking, which led to her certification in aromatherapy and flower essences, and she studied naturopathic and alternative medicine, which landed her a position managing the nutritional departments of some of the local natural food stores.  Stay tuned for Kathryn’s Lyme story in our ‘About Patients’ section (also coming soon).

Montana ~ Brenna Short

Presentation1 brenna cropBrenna struggled with health issues for most of her life, though her symptoms were typically mild enough that she could brush them off. It wasn’t until the birth of her third child (now six years old) that she became so sick that she could no longer ignore it—she’s since learned that she has Lyme disease and she now believes not only that she contracted it in childhood but also that she unwittingly passed it to two of her three children during pregnancy. Stay tuned for Brenna’s Lyme story in our ‘About Patients’ section (also coming soon), but also visit TwystofLyme.org to see what she has been doing for Lyme patients and other non-profits.

Montana ~ Raylene Short

11212238_10155493493585261_338992173_nRaylene is a wife, a mother of two 4-year-old boys, a business owner and a clothing boutique designer. In spite of these accomplishments, she spent 22 years sick with a mystery illness. Over that period, she went to countless doctors, was misdiagnosed with numerous medical conditions and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in a quest to determine what was wrong. Finally, a dear friend recognized her many debilitating symptoms as those of Lyme disease and suggested she get tested. Since none of her doctors had ever suspected Lyme disease, Raylene was stunned when her results came back CDC positive. One month later, her 22-month-old biological son Garrett also received a Lyme diagnosis; Raylene suspects she infected him during pregnancy (her adopted son has not been tested). These two Lyme disease diagnoses marked the start of what would be an overwhelming journey as Raylene and her family fought to regain their health.

Alberta ~ Jill McAllister

11117487_10153331787443566_1199281554_nJill has founded The Faces of Lyme Disease project, and spreads awareness for her son’s situation and for other patients suffering through this illness.  She does so by creating beautiful posters with patient’s stories displayed, and also by creating other powerful graphics, very valuable for making important points and illustrating important facts.

Jill has contributed a number of powerful educational graphics that will be shared here and on facebook throughout awareness month.  Sharing them via social media is a fantastic way to spread awareness.  More on Jill coming soon.

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