LISTEN NOW https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=405692
About Health, 8/14/23 on KPFA radio—94.1FM
One of the many health impacts the climate crisis has had in recent years is an increase is vector-borne diseases, including diseases caused by ticks, such as Lyme and Babesiosis. Lyme has been a challenge regarding diagnosis and treatment for a long time, leaving many patients with inadequate testing, high medical bills, and doctors who dismiss the varied, debilitating, and inconsistent symptoms of Lyme.
A young women, Olivia Goodreau, has made it her mission to raise awareness, support research efforts, and create a user-friendly app to identify tick populations, which are seen worldwide. She has suffered from the chronic effects of tick-borne illness on a daily basis. After seeing over 50 doctors to find out what was wrong with her, she met Dr. Richard Horowitz, who gave her the attention and care she had been hoping and praying for. Olivia Goodreau and Dr Horowitz will join me to discuss Lyme disease, including some of the new efforts and treatments on the horizon.
Olivia Goodreau’s recently published memoir is, “But She Looks Fine – From Illness to Advocacy”. This is the story of how she turned the physical challenges and emotional hardships she has faced since she was a little girl into an engaged life of advocacy for others. She is the founder (at age 12) of LivLyme Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to children and their families struggling with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. LivLyme also supports the work of researchers and scientists who are dedicated to finding effective treatments and cures for tick-borne diseases. Olivia is also the inventor of the free global TickTracker App, the Tickmojis App, and her latest free app, LongHaulTracker.
Olivia has testified twice in front of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, and both the House and Senate in Maryland. She helped pass the Kay Hagan Tick Act at the request of Senator Susan Collins of Maine, which appropriated $150 million dollars for tick-borne diseases. Olivia lobbied with the Center for Lyme Action and spoke at their inaugural “fly in” helping to increase the tick-borne diseases congressional budget by $91 million.
So many young people are faced with life-changing hardships from illness and disease. What Olivia discovers through her journey with chronic Lyme, is that inside of every predicament is also a possibility. Olivia will be attending UCLA in the fall of 2023, majoring in political science with a double minor in public health and international business.