Social Ambassador Profiles

These amazing people have taken on the task of being LymePowerOfUs Social Ambassadors. They are dedicated and passionate and want to transform that dedication into actions that increase awareness of Lyme disease, raise funds to train physicians and support LymeTap, and put an end to the growing epidemic of tick-borne diseases. Their stories are sometimes heart wrenching, often very sad, but more often than not filled with inspiration and hope. These are the faces and stories of people that are making a difference. Find out how you can join them.


Anita Ivan
About Anita

I am 36, a hungarian living in Belgium. I have chronic lyme and lucky enough to have an LLMD from the beginning. Writer of two Lyme related books and running two Facebook pages on the subject.

Brussels, WSP, BE

Natalie Spaeth
About Natalie

Bit in San Clemente, CA (Forrester Ranch) at the age of 8, Lyme went misdiagnosed by misinformed doctors for 14 years. I remained fairly healthy throughout high school and the end of college as a competitive dancer. However, four years before becoming diagnosed, I encountered hormonal dysfunctions such as amenorrhea, GI abnormalities such as chronic nausea and constipation, and neurological symptoms that caused a distortion of taste. Visits with the infertility specialists and gastroenterologists led to the accusal that my condition was psychological, and that I needed to eat more. I began to think that they were right, and I would never receive help for my condition. Oddly enough, I began to notice my jaw had grown swollen and sore. I thought it must have been due to me needing to get my wisdom teeth extracted, but the dentist informed me that I only had one wisdom tooth and it was not protruding. A year before becoming diagnosed, I experienced worsening constipation that led to inconclusive ER visits. My ears were beginning to constantly gurgle and pop. I was then diagnosed by Dr. James Novak (Scripps San Diego LLMD) with Lyme in April 2016. Point is, our doctors need informing.

San Clemente , CA, US

Paul Garcia
About Paul

My fight with Lyme disease first began in the year 2000. I had experienced months of symptoms and waiting before I finally tested positive and received treatment. But the real fight didn't start until 2011 when I was hospitalized with a nearly fatal case of Lyme. I was later diagnosed with Bartonella, Anaplsamosis, and Babesia. Having made my living in medical industry marketing and clinical research, I know something must be done to change the current state of affairs in the Lyme disease community, and the disparity among doctors, patients, and health system administrators must be resolved. As a marketer, I recognize the importance of raising awareness through a variety of channels. The message is the other part of the equation. Rational arguments may exist on both sides. Effectively bringing change requires a concerted effort. I\'d like to be part of the effort.

hyannis, ma, US

Paige Coogle
About Paige

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 20 years ago. Since then my health has been on a steady decline. I was getting sicker and sicker but my medical doctor could find nothing wrong. I finally was able to go to a holistic doctor. I am on a 6 month protocol at which time I will be completely free of the Lyme bacteria.

Eastman, Georgia, US

Ellen Yelton
About Ellen

I have chronic Lyme disease. I went for almost 4 years being diagnosed with other things or told that my symptoms were generic. I saw many doctors and then was diagnosed with FMS and CFS. Fortunately, the doctor I picked off the internet for CFS tested me for Lyme as that was the one thing not checked and Winner! CDC 100% positive. I have been treeating for the past 3+ years. I am still not but about 60% better. I started a blog a few years back and I want to try to help the Lyme community as much as possible. I lve in Texas (where there isn\'t Lyme HAHA) and there are so many people who need help.

Pattison, TEXAS, US

Daniel Perez
About Daniel

I AM A 30 YEAR OLD HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST WITH LYME. I WORK IN A HOLISTIC PHARMACY IN DANBURY,CT ALONG WITH TWO OTHER CLINICAL NUTRITIONISTS SINCE 2010. WE SEE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE A WEEK WHO COME TO US WITH VARYING DEGREES OF AILMENTS AND ILLNESS TO WHICH THEY SEEK NUTRITIONAL TREATMENTS AND HOLISTIC CURES. IN MY TIME HERE I HAVE ENCOUNTERED MORE THAN AT LEAST 75% OF CLIENTS WHO WE REFER TO OUR NATURAL DOCTORS( WHO WE SUSPECT HAVE LYME AND/OR CO-INFECTIONS) HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR BORELLIA SPECIES. I SEE FIRST HAND THE CONFUSION, THE MISINFORMATION, THE SUBOPTIMAL TREATMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS FOR LYME THROUGH CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL AND DO ENDLESS RESEARCH ON THE TOPIC TO EDUCATE AND INFORM THE PUBLIC ON THE SILENT EPIDEMIC THAT IS LYME. I HAVE WATCHED MANY CONFERENCES AND LECTURES AND SEEK OUT CUTTING EDGE INFORMATION ON A CONSTANT BASIS TO REMAIN INFORMED. I WOULD BE A PERFECT CANDIDATE IN THAT I AM PASSIONATE, EAGER, EDUCATED, OPEN MINDED, CARING. I WANT TO JOIN THE CAUSE AND DO MY PART BY INCLUDING IT FURTHER INTO MY WORK.

Bethel, CT, US

Elizabeth Wassel
About Elizabeth

I am the mother of Rebecca Wassel, a lively young girl, my fourth child. I learned to be an advocate for my first born who had profound learning issues. I focused on facing any problem, long-term. I was blindsided by Rebecca’s creeping sicknesses and debilitating pain. “Growing pains” was not a sufficient answer in 4th grade when the water sloshing her ankles hurt too much as she sat poolside! Next year it was her knees, followed by her hips. Running became too painful, then walking. Lyme tests, orthopedists, rheumatologists, finally pain management specialists, and even experimental hip surgery. But her jaw pain was the worst. She was put on narcotics as a holding pattern for 9 months with diagnosis of fibromyalgia, centralized pain, chronic fatigue and Ehlors-Danlos. I saw my daughter veering off a cliff. In 10th grade, a different Lyme test showed infection, treated by six weeks of infusion. OMG! She could get off all pain meds and slowly reclaim her life to a degree unimaginable before. I want to educate the public and doctors to pursue a better diagnosis; make a broader, cheaper test available to be used regularly; and study to find a way to make infected people better!

Fairfax, VA, US

Richard Gruenhagen
About Richard

About 5 years ago, my wife, Julie, became very ill. She was having trouble breathing, and became fatigued very easily. She was diagnosed with eosynophillic pneumonia, and was prescribed Prednisone to resolve her condition. That kicked off a whole host of new issues - migrating muscle and joint pain, brain fog - and we were now on a new quest to figure out what was wrong. Finally, after 2 years, our pediatrician suspected Lyme Disease and referred her to an excellent LLMD, who finally did the correct tests and got a positive diagnosis for Lyme + Babesia. Prior to that, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and the list goes on. We also learned a year ago last May that our daughters, Hailey (6) and Madison (4), and our son Joshua (14) also have Lyme Disease. Our daughters have suffered from fine and gross motor development delays which originally led doctors at Children\'s Hospital in Seattle down the path of Muscular Dystrophy. After Madison had a muscle biopsy, we knew that wasn\'t it, and finally knew it was Lyme after a test done on Hailey came back positive. Josh has struggled in school for many years, and was originally diagnosed with ADD. With treatment, they are all getting better.

Woodinville, WA, US

Rachel Jones
About Rachel

With so many people suffering long term consequences from Lyme Disease, I support increased awareness and increased research to alleviate the suffering.

Potomac, MD, US

Rhonda Shockley Rose
About Rhonda

I\'ve had Lyme Disease for 8 years...I was diagnosed recently by my Rheumatologists positive Western Blot...I\'m completely disabled and suffer from every symptom as stated in the checklist...I can\'t believe it took 8 years and 35 Doctors from all specialties. to figure out what was destroying my body & mind...This is my \"up week\" out of a month...3 weeks a month bedbound...We lived in Linden,Michigan at the time I was bit...working in my garden that the deer had trampled through....

Port Saint Lucie, Florida, US