Video: Young Freeskier Makes Comeback Following Lyme Treatment

LymeLight – The Story Of Professional Freeskier Angeli VanLaanen Living With Lyme Disease from NEU PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

Considering that I can’t even walk my dog around the block right now, this story of an amazing athlete’s return to health was an especially great find.

Freeskier Angeli VanLaanen made this film because she wants others with lyme know that they are not alone—and that recovery is possible.

Click on “play” above to hear her talk about how she was probably infected with lyme disease as a ten-year-old girl by tick bites she got in Wisconsin; Angeli was misdiagnosed during many years of dealing with various symptoms.

Here’s how she describes it on her website: 

My symptoms started out as fainting spells and a sinus infection that lasted the entire year. I then developed migraine headaches and a hormone imbalance. Even after returning to Washington the following fall, my symptoms multiplied rapidly. From back, neck and joint pain, to muscle fatigue and spasms, to developing dyslexia and blurry vision, to lock jaw and digestion problems, my symptom list stumped doctors all over the state.

Nonetheless, this gutsy kid excelled on skis. But then, while soaring during a halfpipe competition at the 2008 X Games, she crashed. Literally.

Her aunt, who happened to see the lyme documentary “Under Our Skin,” finally put it all together. In 2009 Angeli had her diagnosis: Lyme disease.

Click on the video above to hear how correct diagnosis and treatment by a LLMD (Lyme Literate Doctor) got her back to the slopes. This very personal documentary invites you right inside her recovery.

Angeli is perhaps most compelling describing the despair and isolation that overcame her when people thought she looked just fine (including doctors). Her friends and family give a very personal view of how lyme impacted this spirited young woman mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

How many of us have been there?

Watching her go from bed back to the ski slopes and her dream of the 2014 Olympic Games left me absolutely exhilarated. So I’m asking that you please share this video with those who really need inspiration today, especially teens.

Or perhaps you can send the link to someone you know who may have been sick off and on since childhood without considering that a tick-borne infection might be the cause. I’m meeting more and more people in that boat.

Like Angeli, we can all help spread the word and do our part to stop needless suffering.

Read an interview with Angeli about her comeback here.

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