Tick Boot Camp

Episode 203: Enduring Spirit - an interview with Erin Meyers

Ms. Meyers overcame 30 years of medical incompetence to secure a Lyme disease diagnosis

Erin Meyers is a 39-year-old culinary artist from Bakersfield, California. Ms. Meyers moved to California after living most of her life in the eastern US Lyme belt.

Ms. Meyers’ Lyme journey began during childhood with classic migrating symptoms that were misdiagnosed as growing pains, IBS and SIBO. Her symptoms were treated individually, not collectively, for over 30 years resulting in a delayed Lyme disease diagnosis.

Securing a diagnosis permitted Ms. Meyers to build a cookbook of medical recipes to rebuild her immune system including IV ozone, ozone saunas, acupuncture, muscle testing for herbals and energy healing.

Today, Ms. Meyers is recovering from dental cavitation surgery and preparing herself physically and emotionally for the next steps in her treatment journey.

If you would like to learn more about how a culinary artist overcame decades of medical system failure to unearth the recipe for successfully treating Lyme disease, then tune in now!

Episode 202: Medicine with Heart - an interview with Dr. Diane Mueller

A dynamic naturopathic doctor from Colorado talks all things Lyme

Dr. Diane Mueller is a Naturopathic Doctor, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. She is also the Co-Founder of Medicine with Heart, a clinical medical practice located in Morrison, Colorado.

Dr. Mueller grew up on the east coast of the United States where Lyme disease cast a shadow over her childhood experience. Her sister was diagnosed with Lyme disease as a 10-year-old child, and Dr. Mueller suffered from a diversity of ailments that included constipation, joint pain, and fatigue.

After medical school, Dr. Mueller looked forward to commencing a career in clinical medicine and expected to recover from “Medical School Syndrome,” a fatigue commonly associated with the rigors of medical education. While observing her medical school colleagues “quickly recover,” her health continued to deteriorate.

Declining health forced Dr. Mueller to turn the lens of her duel eastern and western medical degrees on herself. She ran “a ton of tests …that no one had considered” and tested positive for the same disease her sister battled during their childhood: Lyme Disease.

Finally locating a diagnosis allowed Dr. Mueller to treat the symptoms she could only manage for most of her life. She utilized treatment modalities to work on her mind and the parasympathetic nervous system, in addition to “herbal, bee venom therapy and ozone.”

Today, Dr. Mueller is healthier and has more energy than she did during any time in her life.

If you would like to learn more about how Lyme disease taught a doctor how to diagnose and treat herself and to have empathy and compassion for patients that deal with chronic illnesses, then tune in now!

Episode 201: Transitioning with Lyme - an interview with Sam Lesch

Accepting the responsibility of a chronic illness renders transitioning to adulthood more challenging

Sam Lesch is a 20-year-old student originally from Auburn, New York currently residing in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Her Lyme disease journey began during her senior year of high school when she suffered migrating symptoms that included the loss of the use of her right leg, the use of her hand and fingers, brain fog, fatigue, and facial drops.

Although suffering from classic migrating Lyme disease symptoms, the confirmation of her family’s suspicion that she was suffering from Lyme was delayed due to the failure of the standard Western Blot testing. Ms. Lesch tested negative for Lyme on 4 separate LabCorp Western Blot tests. Finally, a family friend recommended a superior DNA ConneXions (Tick Boot Camp Podcast episode 168) urine test and her diagnosis of Lyme disease and co-infections was confirmed.

After her diagnosis, Ms. Lesch’s parents and siblings studied Lyme through course work and built a team of medical professionals to treat her disease. The treatment team included a kinesiologist and an out-of-state Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD).

Ms. Lesch’s age and illness forced her to rely on her family and medical team to establish a treatment plan that included 5 antibiotics, probiotics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, IV Meyers’ Cocktail, yoga, and glutathione. Her treatment protocol was so rigorous that she began to feel what she called “pill fatigue.”

If you would like to learn more about how a young woman on the cusp of adulthood refused to allow Lyme disease to prevent her from transitioning to college and independence, then tune in now!

Episode 200: Mylie's Lyme Story - an interview with Madeline and Alex Castellanos

The Castellanos family's Lyme disease journey became the inspiration for a highly regarded children's book

Madeline Castellanos is a 9-year-old actor, student and author from Los Angeles, California. Her Lyme disease journey began 4 years ago when her mother, Alexandra, took her to an urgent care facility when she noticed the child had an “alarming rash."

After being dismissed by the urgent care doctor, the formerly energetic Madeline began to nap frequently, fall asleep during car trips, suffer daily migraine headaches, and fall behind her classmates academically in school. The developing symptoms and a new “bullseye” rash caused her mother to schedule Madeline for an examination by her primary care physician.

Madeline’s primary care doctor diagnosed her with Lyme disease after she tested positive on a Western Blot test. Sadly, Madeline’s doctor acknowledged that he did not have the experience or training to adequately treat her disease, so he urged Alexandra “find a good doctor” for her daughter.

Alexandra’s quest to find a “good doctor” required the pair to travel across the country from California to the birthplace of Lyme disease: Connecticut. There, Madeline treated with the famous Dr Jones of New Haven Connecticut for “10 months nonstop” before she achieved symptom relief. Today, Alexandra helps Madeline to prevent symptom flare ups through diet, limiting direct sun exposure, and avoiding stressful situations.

The Castellanos family’s Lyme journey taught the mother and daughter many powerful lessons that they wanted to share with other parents and children. Their first outreach project was to co-author a children’s book about a young child’s Lyme disease journey titled “Mylie’s Lyme Story.” Mylie’s Lyme Story is now available wherever books are sold including Amazon and ironically Target.

If you would like to know more about how Lyme disease inspired a mother and child to share their journey through a child friendly medium, then tune in now!

Episode 199: Resistance Fighter - an interview with Kaitlyn Oleinik

The granddaughter of a Jewish resistance fighter taps into her fighting spirit to overcome Lyme disease

Kaitlyn Oleinik is a 27-year-old psychology student, musician and equestrian enthusiast from Orange County, California. Ms. Oleinik is also the daughter and granddaughter of WWII era Jewish resistance fighters.

Starting at the age of 10 years old, Ms. Oleinik began to treat with medical doctors for Lyme disease symptoms including severe fatigue, knee pain, and joint pain. Despite visiting “dozens of doctors,” her symptoms did not result in a diagnosis until she and her parents watched a television show that profiled a young woman’s Lyme disease journey.

The parallels between Ms. Oleinik’s symptoms and those of the television heroine inspired her to take control of her childhood diagnostic journey. First, she researched and located the CanLyme symptom guide. When she discovered that she exhibited the overwhelming majority of the traditional symptoms listed in the guide, she petitioned her parents and her doctor to treat her for Lyme disease. She achieved remission with antibiotic treatment prescribed by her primary care physician.

Several years later, during her senior year of college, she suffered a series of traumatic events while at the same time residing in mold infested student housing. The combination of immune disrupting events caused her to suffer a Lyme relapse that was misdiagnosed by doctors as mental illness. Realizing that her symptoms were potentially indicative of Lyme disease, she ignored her family, friends, and doctors and took control of her second diagnostic journey by locating a Lyme literate medical doctor (LLMD) who diagnosed her with Lyme disease.

Ms. Oleinik and her LLMD utilized IV antibiotics, IVIG therapy and stem cells to treat her Lyme disease relapse. Ms. Oleinik described the $30,000 stem cell therapy as “lifesaving.”

If you would like to learn more about how a young woman tapped into her resistance fighter spirit to overcome the doubts of family, friends, and doctors to take control of her Lyme disease diagnostic journeys, then tune in now!

Episode 198: Immune Warrior - an interview with Gina Valles

Ms. Valles' Lyme journey inspired her to create a business to help people rebuild their immune system through proper exercise

Gina Valles is a 33-year-old personal trainer, exercise scientist, gym owner, and entrepreneur from South Windsor, Connecticut. Ms. Valles was an elite nationally ranked high school and college athlete who discovered that over training could inhibit her game day performance.

Ms. Valles’ Lyme disease journey began in 2017 after she discovered 3 attached ticks after returning home from a walk with her dog. Shortly thereafter, she began to suffer flu-like symptoms, insomnia, neurological pain, and breathing problems. Despite residing in the shadow of Old Lyme, Connecticut, her classic symptoms went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed by 5 Connecticut based medical doctors.

Her health improved vastly after locating a Lyme literate medical doctor (LLMD) who diagnosed her with Lyme disease and treated her with an aggressive antibiotic protocol.

When Covid mandated gym closures and suspended in-person training, Ms. Valles pivoted to online training. The online model required her to lead several Zoom classes per day, causing her to suffer physical exhaustion and a relapse. She discovered that the physical stress from over training disrupted her immune system causing a Lyme disease relapse.

The relapse experience inspired Ms. Valles to return to her exercise science roots. She studied over training and immune disruption. The research coupled with her second Lyme healing journey inspired her to build “Immune Warrior,” an online information/education business. Immune Warrior offers cutting-edge eBooks, subscriptions, and products to help folks in the community “find [their] inner warrior.”

If you would like to learn more about how too much of a good thing taught a fitness professional the importance of balance and immune health and inspired a new online business, then tune in now!

Episode 197: Slow and Steady - an interview with Janice Iannucci

Lyme disease change the path of Dr. Iannucci's education and career

Dr. Janice Iannucci is a Nurse Practitioner and lifelong resident of tick endemic Long Island, New York.

Dr. Iannucci studied and earned her nursing degrees, LPN, RN, NP, and Doctorate from the top universities located on Long Island, while working in hospital systems in the region.

As Dr. Iannucci was climbing to the educational pinnacle of her profession, she felt but could not see “something on the back of her leg while she was driving” that resulted in a rash and chronic “flu-like syndrome that would put [her] down for months.”

Unable to self-diagnose, she began to share her puzzling symptoms with hospital colleagues who were also unable to help her locate a diagnosis. Desperate for a diagnosis, Dr. Iannucci became a patient and visited over 10 doctors in search of a diagnosis where she was misdiagnosed with MS and depression.

Finally, she visited the famous LLMD, Dr. Raxlen, where she tested positive for Lyme disease on an IGeneX lab test.

The failure of her own education and training, the education and training of her hospital colleagues, and the education of her 10 medical doctors reset the concentration of Dr. Iannucci’s doctorial education. Additionally, the challenges she faced on her healing journey caused her to study traditional eastern herbal tools to supplement the tools she had utilized during her career.

If you would like to learn how Lyme disease changed the educational and career paths of a western-educated Doctor of Nurse Practitioner, then tune in now!

Episode 196: The Bionic Woman - an interview with Meghan Bradshaw

Meghan overcame the grief of Lyme to discover her life's passion

Megan Bradshaw is a 28-year-old fashion industry professional and Lyme disease policy activist from Waxham, North Carolina. Since childhood, she has answered the call to public service. She volunteered for church clothing drives, served families at the Ronald McDonald House, and assisted breast cancer survivors during her time managing a lingerie business in the fashion industry.

Ms. Bradshaw’s professional and health journeys kicked off at the same moment in time. While she was blessed with rapid advancement in her career, she was forced to manage the curse of rapidly declining health.

Ms. Bradshaw sought treatment for her failing health at the leading medical institutions in the United States, including the Cleveland Clinic, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Vanderbilt University. Unfortunately, a misdiagnosis resulted in a treatment prescription “that opened the flood gates” for Lyme disease to cause orthopedic injuries requiring multiple joint replacement surgeries.

Ms. Bradshaw’s painful journey has caused her to earn superhero status in the Lyme disease community. By overcoming medical trauma to become a more effective and focused public servant, she has become affectionately known as the Bionic Woman of Lyme.

Today, Ms. Bradshaw is using her time on medical leave to focus on tick-borne disease advocacy and fundraising. She is also preparing for an educational and career pivot to public policy and administration in the health care/disability industry.

If you would like to learn more about how a benevolent spirit used Lyme disease to build the Bionic Woman of Lyme, then tune in now!

Episode 195: Finding Purpose - an interview with Nic Turinski

Nic is one of the most raw and real leaders in the Lyme disease community

Nic Turinski is a 39-year-old data analyst and artist from Eugene, Oregon. He is the creative force driving the Chronic 2 Wear brand. Mr. Turinski was an uber athletic 18-year-old basketball player when he began to suffer classic Lyme disease symptoms. The then undiagnosed disease restricted his athleticism eventually stealing his athletic gifts entirely. At the height of the disease, he lost all mobility, suffered seizures, and required the assistance of an electric wheelchair to experience the outside world. His eight-year diagnostic journey was checkered with medical incompetence caused by “doctors trying to validate themselves by invalidating [him].” Before he could locate a path to healing, Lyme disease required him to learn two life lessons: treatment must be slow and steady and healing requires you to locate a passion outside of Lyme disease. If you would like to learn more about how the creative force behind the Chronic 2 Wear brand is using slow and steady progress and artistic passion to heal from Lyme disease, then tune in now!

Episode 194: A Missing Link - an interview with Debbie Nichols and Candice Matthis

Alpha-gal is Lyme's red-headed stepchild no more!

Debbie Nichols and Candice Matthis are the charismatic co-founders of TwoAlphaGals, an Alpha-Gal Syndrome (AGS) health and wellness community. Ms. Nichols’ Alpha-Gal journey began when she realized that red meat consistently made her stomach hurt. Ms. Matthis’ journey began with GI issues that presented shortly after she discovered a tick attached to her toe. Their paths crossed and their relationship was born out of a realization that they shared similar dietary restrictions when meeting at a social gathering. As the relationship grew, they realized they were travelling on parallel medical journeys later resulting in a joint diagnosis of Alpha-Gal Syndrome. Together, they developed a support system that allowed them to improve their own lives, the lives of their families and the lives of people in the tick-borne disease community. If you would like to learn more about how the bond between two women from Virginia manifested into an advocacy, health, and wellness community, then tune in now!

The purpose of Tick Boot Camp is to help you liberate yourself and others from suffering caused by Lyme disease.