Beki’s battle against Lyme

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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