Lyme disease, have you heard of it? According to author Leonie Shanahan, an estimated 500,000 Australians are possibly suffering with it, and many of those live on the Sunshine Coast. 

Leonie says that despite the apparent evidence, the Australian Government is currently not conceding that Lyme can be contracted in this country. This leaves patients with devastating, multi-system health symptoms, but without a medical diagnosis or appropriate financial support. 

Leonie Shanahan is a Sunshine Coast local, best known for her community organic gardening and Edible School Gardens programs, and says she has been wrestling with Lyme disease for over seven years. 

She recalls the tick bite that she believes resulted in her contracting the Lyme bacteria, plus several other tick-borne pathogens. 

“My symptoms include severe chronic fatigue, brain fog, flu-like symptoms, the sensation of bugs crawling under my skin, pain, heart palpitations and many more,” sharied Leonie.

“There are 150 different symptoms associated with Lyme and its associated diseases. Known as ‘the great imitator’, Lyme often imitates and is misdiagnosed as conditions such as MS, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, ADHD and psychological illnesses.”

After several years of symptoms and medical appointments, her blood was sent to the US and the test results were positive for Lyme disease. 

Leonie began researching the illness, searching far and wide for natural treatments to heal her failing body. Her decision to find solutions to heal herself, and then help others who had also been medically abandoned, kept her going when symptom flare-ups had her house or bed-bound. 

Now that Leonie has conquered her illness, she is living out her plan to support other patients. Firstly, she has transcribed her story and what she learned along the way in her new book, Lyme disease Sucks: The trauma, the truth & the triumph. 

The book is a toolbox for Lyme symptomatology; relaying the best healing techniques, practitioners, tools, treatments, routines and life skills gained on Leonie’s journey. It gives hope to other Lyme sufferers, assuring them that the disease is real and that they are NOT alone.

But Lyme disease Sucks isn’t just a manual for Lyme patients, it offers a deeply personal account of life with a debilitating disease; what it really looks and feels like. 

“My hope is that it will garner support and compassion from the general public for those suffering Lyme, or any other kind of chronic illness.”

Above all else, Leonie has composed a story of courage and overcoming that will inspire any reader.

Available online or via LeonieShanahan.com.au $24.95 

The HT will be sharing feedback from the medical profession in the October issue on ‘Lyme disease’ in Australia.

The view expressed in this Lyme Disease article are the writer’s and not necessarily the views of the HT team.