Georgia Grace Ritchie Wood is a professional ski coach, yoga instructor, poet, and podcaster from Australia. She currently resides in Woodstock, Vermont, USA.
Ms. Wood was born with a kidney disorder that rendered her immune compromised. Her parents were advised that she would require kidney reconstruction surgery and should not engage in activities such as skiing or skydiving. Ms. Wood was also born with a passion to vanquish any and all limits and she developed an improbable passion for snow skiing.
Her will to overcome all challenges resulted in an invitation to join the Australian Ski Team. Ms. Wood represented her country in several international competitions and traveled to North America to train for the Olympics.
The rigors of international travel, Olympic level training, and North American ticks resulted in Ms. Wood suffering illnesses that rendered her bed bound. Unfortunately, a “devil inside of [her]” stole her Olympic dreams and a college scholarship. After several years of misdiagnosis, doctors discovered that Lyme disease was in fact the “devil inside” of Ms. Wood.
Today, Ms. Wood is a ski instructor and international Lyme disease advocate. Her highly regarded podcast, Blooming with Lyme, had become a staple in the Lyme community genre.
If you would like to learn more about the journey an international skiing champion took to overcome chronic illness to Bloom with Lyme, then tune in now!
Special Note: in this episode Ms. Wood read her poem “The Devil Inside of Me”. See the poem below:
There is a devil inside of me, I am his disguise. He's taking over, crept his way inside. Picking and pulling, punching and pounding Constant chatter, no good for the ears Only leaving me mad and in fear I’ve lost my way, being locked away The devil holds the key, Not quite sure I'll be able to break it free. Close my eyes I see the devil, Keep them open, and I’m left venerable. But worse of all, everyone else will see, What's really happening inside of me. Lack of control, now my current theme He's come in and ruined, every one of my scenes. Barely breathing, continuous aching “Stab me, slash me” now he’s screaming! There is a devil inside of me, I am his disguise. Locked in a jail, visible only to me Sick and tired, no way to break free Stripping me of my dignity, repetitively Trying to drown him in both pills and potions But the funny thing is, he’s just learnt to swim So why even bother when the devils just growing stronger? Barely breathing, lack of control He strikes again and oh so bold I’m trying to speak up, but in he cuts. Let me speak up, let me reach recovery There is a devil inside of me, I am his disguise. Someone please help me, someone please save me Cause these pills and potions aren’t doing a thing Barely breathing, where’ll he strike next? First to my family, friends you'll be up next. And slowly but surely, he'll bring them an end. Heart racing, head ponding He's constantly screaming “Slap me, stab me and finally shot me.” There is a devil inside of me, I am his disguise. No more is he just, that little side bloke He has taken over, sucking at all my hope Pills and potions, keeping him only entertained But sober him up and he’s right back for more games I’m trying to push through but I’m not sure if I can cope. He’s growing and expanding, and he’s made me his permanent home Where have I gone? And where is this mysterious key? He’s locked me away for no one else to see. There is a devil inside of me, though no more am I his disguise He has become me, and I have been locked deep, deep inside. I am not fighting myself, I am fighting a fight against that evil devil that’s taken over my inside.
-Georgia Wood, January 13, 2016
Greg Lee is the 55-year-old founder of the Lyme Research and Healing Center and GoodbyeLyme.com. He is a nationally recognized expert in the use of Chinese herbs and alternative medicine for the treatment of persistent infections.
Mr. Lee began his career as a systems engineer on NASA projects such as the Hubble Telescope, the Space Station, robotics, and climate modeling projects. The stresses of working on multiple space projects caused Mr. Lee to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which he managed with medications until he resolved the illness after treating with an acupuncturist.
The relief offered by the alternative treatment inspired Mr. Lee to change his career path. He returned to college to become a Master of Acupuncture and he also earned a Chinese herbal certification before opening a healing practice for chronic pain in Fredrick, Maryland.
Two concurrent events inspired Mr. Lee to narrow the scope of his healing practices focus on Lyme: first, many of the patients he successfully treated for fibromyalgia tested positive for Lyme disease, and second, his daughter was bitten by an infected tick.
If you would like to learn more about how you may benefit from herbals, alternative treatment, and the Lyme Research and Healing Center on your Lyme disease healing journey, then tune in now!
PS Greg has offered an exclusive free download to Tick Boot Camp listeners detailing the Top 5 Essential Oils for Lyme Disease!
Dr. Janis J. Weis, Ph.D. is a Professor of Pathology in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Dr Weis developed a professional passion for studying Lyme disease when she and her family lived in the east coast Lyme belt during the time she performed her post-doctoral training in immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard University Medical Center.
Dr. Weis maintains an active research laboratory at the University of Utah studying the mechanisms and genetic regulation of Lyme arthritis development. She also serves as director of the Training Program in Microbial Pathogenesis, a National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored training grant that supports pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees in this discipline.
Dr. Weis’ current studies are focused on understanding the inflammatory dysregulation associated with acute and chronic Lyme arthritis in mice. Recent studies have identified in Lyme infected immune deficient mice several features that are similar to features seen in patients with chronic Lyme disease.
If you would like to learn more about how the work of research Professor Dr. Janis Weis may provide the answers to how the Lyme bacteria may cause sustained inflammation and chronic illness regardless of the status or condition of your immune system, then tune in now!
Sarah Corlis is a mother of two children with Lyme disease from Alpharetta, Georgia. Growing up, she had a very active social life and used to work out all the time.
Sarah was a human resources manager until she was 34 years old when she took some time off to have her kids. A few years later, she returned to work as a realtor with a more flexible schedule for 6 years until she decided to work fulltime on her health and the health of her two children.
Some of Sarah's early Lyme disease symptoms included dizziness, nausea, jaw pain, headaches, terrible fatigue, depression, and anxiety, but doctors dismissed her symptoms and told her she was just anxious. Finally, Sarah was tested for Lyme disease by a functional medical doctor and was positive through both Labcorp and Vibrant Wellness tests.
Sarah has been treating using a variety of different tools for almost a decade. She has used antibiotics, herbals, FREmedica WAVE 1, Supportive Oligonucleotide Therapy (SOT) for Lyme and Bartonella, and most recently Ivermectin/Azithromycin for Babesia. Next, she is considering SOT for Babesia.
If you'd like to learn more how a determined mom "didn't lose hope, kept trying" and knew her and her children "could feel better", then tune in now!
PS Cassidy Colbert special guest co-hosted this interview with Matt from Tick Boot Camp!
Amanda Millie is a 35-year-old model, blogger and podcaster from London, England.
Shortly after Ms. Millie’s family immigrated from Africa to the UK, she was bitten by a tick on a school camping trip. She “picked off the tick and moved on with [her] life” because she was “unaware of what that bite meant”.
Around the age of 19, Ms. Millie “started getting intense fatigue” which she attributed to lifestyle changes she felt compelled to make to advance her career in the fashion modeling industry. Ms. Millie’s pursuit of food deprivation and high intensity exercise bolstered her modeling career and at the same time her undiagnosed Lyme disease symptoms, including, night sweats, headaches, brain fog, and hair loss.
The next decade of Ms. Millie’s life was punctuated by “a lot of doctors’ visits” and new symptoms. After visiting over 20 “private pay” doctors that caused her to collect several misdiagnoses, she was referred to a Lyme disease clinic in London. There, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and prescribed a 10 step “personalized treatment protocol”.
Today, Ms. Millie has rebuilt her health by reorganizing her career and reconnecting with a healthy food and exercise regimen. If you would like to learn more about how Lyme disease forced a fashion model to return to her traditional lifestyle choices to support healing, then tune in now!
Dr. Daniel Kinderlehrer is a nationally recognized Lyme disease medical doctor, educator, and author from Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Kinderlehrer is acknowledged for his wide-ranging expertise in the fields of nutrition, allergy, environmental medicine, healing of the mind/body/spirit as a whole, and Lyme disease. His passion for treating Lyme disease was born out of his personal experience.
He is the co-founder of the New England Center for Holistic Medicine in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and has taught extensively, including practitioner training courses at the Omega Institute, The National Institute of Behavioral Medicine, and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). He is the creator of the Lyme Fundamentals course which is presented annually at the ILADS conferences.
If you would like to know more about how Lyme disease inspired a former patient to build an integrated medical practice in Denver, Colorado to focus on the diagnosed treatment of Lyme disease, then tune in now!
Dina Benedetto is a 38-year-old beauty and skin care industry professional from Long Island, New York.
Ms. Benedetto’s Lyme disease journey was ignited by a common stomach virus that infected several members of her family at the same time. While her family’s symptoms dissipated, her illness became increasingly more severe. She suffered from confusion, heart palpitations, air hunger, anxiety, and panic attacks.
As her symptoms progressed, the fearless former lacrosse athlete and driven business professional began to lose faith in her ability to heal. Her escalating symptoms caused her to think she was dying.
Finally, her primary care physician tested her using a full “tick panel” that revealed she was suffering from “late-stage neurological Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Epstein Barr Virus”.
After her diagnosis, she treated with a primary care physician, 2 infectious disease doctors, a gastroenterologist, and finally a holistic practitioner. Utilizing traditional antibiotics, herbal remedies, CBD oil, and detoxification baths she began to rebuild her health. Unfortunately, she has recently come to understand that her dream career and the consequent chemical exposure is triggering her current health ebbs and flows. After “two days of facials, [she] literally cannot move”.
If you would like to learn more about how a beauty industry professional residing in a Lyme endemic community learned how her chemical exposure suppressed her immune system and made her vulnerable to chronic Lyme disease, then tune in now!
Jill Wichner is a 48-year-old entrepreneur, copywriter, and content marketing strategist. She is also a board member and Vice President of social media and digital content marketing for the Pennsylvania Lyme Resource Network.
Ms. Wichner’s Lyme disease journey began when she “noticed a bullseye rash on the back of [her] arm” while on a Caribbean cruise with her husband. Thinking the rash was “a little bit odd, [she] took a photo” to show to her doctor in Lyme endemic Pennsylvania. “After showing [her doctor] the photo and asking him about the association with ticks, he advised that ticks aren’t found in the Caribbean, and that [she] would already be sick if the rash were a result of a tick bite”.
Ten months later, the high energy, socially active, full-time employee of a Pharma company became “seriously ill”, and she lost her job. Her illness forced her to seek treatment from “at least 7 doctors (not including those assigned to [her] during a 5-day hospital stay)” before she was diagnosed with Lyme, Bartonella and Babesia.
Her clinical doctor treated her with antibiotics and supplements for one year before she could return to work. The “time and struggle” of Lyme “significantly changed [her] perspective” and provided her with a license to leave a career in Pharma to pursue an entrepreneurial calling. After opening her own business, she also felt called to give purpose to her pain and accepted an invitation to join the board of the renowned Pennsylvania Lyme Resource Network.
If you would like to learn more about how Lyme disease changed the perspective of a Pharma employee and gave her permission to change her career path and the focus of her social contributions, then tune in now!
Kristen Harris is a 39-year-old small business owner from Westchester County, New York. Her story is different than most of our guests.
Ms. Harris was very sick with Lyme disease in 1998, reached remission in 2000, and in 2016 fell ill again due to Lyme. She went to college, got a job, traveled, and lived a very active life from 2000 to 2016.
At the age of 33, Ms. Harris relapsed and suffered severe neck pain, full-body pain, dizziness, cognitive issues, Lyme rage, disassociation, heart palpitations, ringing in her ears, vision disturbances, muscle twitching, migraines, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and more.
Ms. Harris has treated using IV and oral antibiotics, herbs, supplements, IV glutathione, IV Vitamins, oxygen therapy, and detox protocols.
If you would like to learn how a young woman is beating back Lyme disease a second time in her short life and is starting to reacclimate professionally and socially, then tune in now!
PS Christina Kantzavelos, Lyme Literate Therapist, special guest co-hosted this interview with Matt from Tick Boot Camp!
Andi Czyz is a multi-talented 23-year-old Certified Functional Nutrition Practitioner, Holistic Health Practitioner, and Social Media Manager originally from midwestern suburban Illinois.
Ms. Czyz’s Lyme disease journey began when she suffered a tick bite in March 2020. Within weeks she suffered “full body numbness, extreme brain fog, tremors, anxiety, and knee swelling”. Despite displaying classic Lyme disease symptoms, the then uber fit weightlifter had to visit with 6 doctors before she was tested for and diagnosed with Lyme.
After treatment with traditional antibiotics failed to yield symptom relief, she pivoted to a functional medical practice. There she discovered her Lyme illness was working “hand in hand” with a mold illness that was found in her body and her apartment. By treating and resolving the mold illness (CIRS) symptoms, she was offered “a Lyme treatment protocol which cleared up some of the other Lyme symptoms”.
Ms. Czyz’s research during her treatment journey revealed “that not many people post on food” for people managing chronic illness on social media. She decided to fill the gap by creating the “A Little More Balanced” Instagram and website to provide information on “easy to prepare gluten-free, vegan and anti-inflammatory foods”.
If you would like to learn more about how Lyme disease inspired a social media marketing manager and Certified Nutrition Diagnostic Practitioner to build a highly regarded nutrition infotainment platform dedicated to serving the chronically ill, then tune in now!