Beki’s battle against Lyme
WHITSUNDAY locals Beki Seekamp, Nikki Brown, Jess Rowe and Peita Rolling did their bit to “take a bite out of Lyme” on Sunday morning, hosting a Lyme Disease awareness stall.
Lyme Disease sufferer, 29year-old Beki Seekamp said she and her friends felt they had been given “a good reception from everyone.”
“There were a lot of people wanting to learn about Lyme Disease, especially with it being here in our region,” she said.
Ms Seekamp’s ordeal began in 2010 when she was bitten by a tick infected with Borrellia, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
As the disease progressed, doctors were left confused and unable to offer a diagnosis for her condition, which left her extremely unwell and unable to work.
After undergoing rigorous testing in Brisbane over many months, as well as biopsies, bone marrow aspirations, radium scans and even the removal of her lymph nodes, in 2013 Ms Seekamp was told she was suffering from an as-yet undiscovered disease.
In mid-2014, Beki sent her blood overseas for testing.
The results came back positive for Lyme disease.
“I find it extremely frustrat- ing and I also find it very confronting to think about how many people could end up like me, purely because there’s no recognition of it in our country,” Ms Seekamp said.
“That’s why I feel awareness is so key because when I first sick if someone may have known what it was, I may have been able to been diagnosed much sooner.”
The month of May is Lyme Disease awareness month, and has been a busy time for the Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA).
LDAA vice president Jennifer Sherer said the association had sent out 22,000 post- cards – signed by people who were either directly or indirectly affected by Lyme Disease – to politicians around the nation. “And as a result... some of them... have now passed that information along to the Federal and State health ministers,” Ms Sherer said. “It’s a very sad thing to see, day-in, day-out, people who are very sick but have no assistance.” Ms Seekamp and her friends plan to host more awareness events in the near future. For more information or to donate, head to facebook.com/bekisbattle and follow the links or lymedisease.org.au.
BITING BACK: Nikki Brown, Jess Rowe, Beki Seekamp and Peita Rolling held a Lyme disease stall at Whitsunday Plaza.