Giving Back with Dedication + Love: How Ethel Takes on the Obstacles of Living with a Chronic Illness
From curiosity about someone else's illness, to the discovery of her own, Ethel is determined to create a life for herself more than the limitations that this disease can bring; a life where raising awareness for Lyme Disease is in the forefront of her will to keep moving forward. To keep motivating herself and others to pursue dreams and goals that may seem impossible when facing such daunting obstacles.
This Is Ethel's Story...
I am 18 years old and I am from Canada. I have recently been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease after spending 3 years searching for answers. Prior to my diagnosis, I knew nothing about lyme, I didn't even know what a tick was.
I met a new student at my school who I had seen walking the day before but this time she was in a wheel chair. Concerned as I was, I walked up to her and ask what had happened. She told me she had lyme disease and because I didn't know what lyme disease was, all I said was "wow I hope you get well soon". I never saw her again around school after that so I decided to add her on Facebook to see what had happened, and found out she had gone to Florida for treatment. After reading through all her posts on Facebook I realized how serious this disease was and wanted to start a walk for her because I had never heard of a walk for Lyme Disease Awareness. I messaged her and asked her if she wanted to start one together and she really liked the idea. So we teamed up with 2 of her other friends who now run the walk.
Throughout the process of all this, I had no idea I had lyme disease as well, I was only helping but really I was being educated and getting prepared for what was to come. An answer to all my medical problems.
Since my diagnosis, I have dedicated my time advocating for Lyme Disease and making sure everyone is aware. I am in the process of starting a photo series with the hope of raising awareness for this debilitating disease; I want to spread awareness because I only found out about Lyme Disease from my own awareness, and through this awareness I received answers.
There are plenty of others out there still searching for answers, getting misdiagnosed, and led to believe that they are crazy. This is all because Lyme Disease is too often misdiagnosed and it has become and epidemic, and left untreated it can lead to a life long struggle.
I have had chronic pain in almost all my joints and muscles for 4 years now. Memory loss, extreme fatigue, hallucinations, and so many more. It has taken away my ability to problem solve and math was once one of my favourite subjects. As well as my favourite sport, running. I am on a new treatment that I just started on July 4th. The first ten days are not supposed to be as bad but soon enough I'll be starting on the rest. I was told that I will start to feel even worse while I kill the bacteria and co infections, but I'm determined to fight through.
I hope that one day I can walk without feeling the pain in my legs and can go back to training and sprinting.
I hope one day I can learn and understand like I used to.
I hope one day I can be symptom free.
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