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Join the Fight Against Lyme Disease: Bite Back, America
Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on November 20, 2013 @ 7:47PM
Created on November 20, 2013 @ 7:14PM

5 News has told you about people going across the country to raise awareness for a certain cause, but most of the time it's usually not a person who is actually suffering from an illness.

5 News met with a man who is cycling across the country to spread awareness and raise money for Lyme disease, something he's been suffering with for years.

John Donnally said they're on their homestretch, but that it's been amazing meeting people from all over going through the same thing he is.

Last year alone 300,000 people were infected with Lyme disease, which is ten times more what research has previously shown. 

"It goes from what could be a very minor happening in your life if it's diagnosed and treated right away to something that can lead to chronic health problems," said John Donnally, Advocate.

John Donnally is a 24-year-old sharing his story in hopes to make a difference.

"I was first officially diagnosed with a positive blood test for 2003 when I was 13-years-old, but I'd been suffering with a wide variety range of symptoms since the age of nine."

Years ago he was treated and started to feel a little better, but unfortunately his battle wasn't over. 

"In college a lot of these old symptoms came back. And I'd develop new bizarre ones like lock jaw anytime I'd yawn in class or tingling and numbness throughout my body."

Donnally told 5 News a lot of people aren't aware of what Lyme disease is and that the diagnostic test isn't very accurate.

"My family didn't really know what was wrong with me. We went to see doctors who didn't know much about these diseases. We didn't know a tiny tick the size of a poppy seed could really devastate you and cripple you." 

Oddly enough he's not the only one in his family with this disease.

"Over the years my parents have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, my younger sister, and my aunt. 

But Donnally said after meeting all these people, he realizes how luck he's been.

"I tell people I'm at like 85%-90%, so I'm the healthiest I've been in a very long time."

Now he's cycling across the country to raise money and awareness for this cause.

"We left from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on September 29. Finish line event in New York City, I'll be crossing the George Washington Bridge on December 1."

There goal is to raise $50,000 by the time they reach New York.

"These are diseases that are seriously underfunded. We probably need many of millions of dollars to tackle this issue, but that $50,000 mark is a starting point and it will all be used for research to find a better diagnostic test."

Join in for the fight against Lyme disease. Bite back, America.

If you want to help this cause, click here to donate. Or click here for their Facebook page. 

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Comments (1)
Nov 23, 2013 at 9:12 PM
Will you please participate? This national group pulling this campaign together needs more photos. Please forward to those you know who can participate. All you have to do is hold a sign, take a photo (with your phone is fine) & email it to lyme300000 at yahoo dot com

Here are the photos collected so far, they are powerful. www.flickr.com/groups/lyme300000 more info & a sign link to printout & hold: http://lyme300000.wordpress.com This movement is along the lines of the "I am one of the 99%" movement that was popular with the wall street bailout. We are trying to show the many human faces to the Lyme epidemic.
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