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Lyme Disease Awareness Foundation

Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 18:45

On December 11th, Mike Neal presented a donation of $500 on behave of Local 1165 to the Lyme Disease Awareness Foundation. Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection contracted from a tick, spider or mosquito bite. For those that don't know, Mike is passionate about the subject of Lyme disease due to dealing with it first hand on a personal level. So there was nobody better or qualified to represent Local 1165 for this charitable event. 

The Lyme Disease Awareness Foundation was founded by Debra Gutierrez. Debra is the mother of Adrianna and this is their story. In 2009,  Adrianna was a 4.2 GPA honor roll student and Class President at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, CA. Adrianna went on a 3 day camping trip with her family at the end of December, 2009.  After the trip, insomnia like symptoms set in. She began going to school with only 2 or 3 hours of sleep.  As the next few days progressed she could not focus anymore. She was pulled out of her class and into her counselor’s office, as she was “hearing voices” and “seeing shadows.”

Debra and her family were taking care of Adrianna around-the-clock at home for several weeks.  On her doctor's recommendation, Adriana was admitted to a psychiatric facility for a 3 day observation, which later turned into an 8 day stay.  The psychiatrists attending Adrianna told her family that she was “psychotic” and medicated her with anti-psychotic drugs for a period of 10 weeks.  The prescription drugs had many side effects, one of them being acute acne and severe weight loss. 

While searching for an answer, the family went into great debt seeing over twenty five doctors including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and Ayurvedic health care professionals. Finally Adrianna was seen by Dr. Brian Goldman M.D. from the Amen Clinics in California. He was the doctor that suspected Lyme disease after his clinical evaluation.

Adrianna tested positive for Lyme disease along with two co-infections which seriously affected her mental health.  She had been (mis)diagnosed as “psychotic”.  She missed 18 months of high school battling Lyme Disease.  She is 100% fully recovered and restored after taking 18 months of large doses of three different antibiotics and with probiotics.

She returned to high school and fulfilled all of her graduation requirements and graduated from Valley Christian High School.  After high school, she attended Pepperdine University and graduated with a B.A. in Communication. She started attending Queen Mary, University of London in the fall of 2017 and is looking forward to obtaining a Masters degree in International Human Resources Management.

Debra established the Lyme Disease Awareness Foundation in order to help others who cannot afford the expensive Lyme testing fees.  This foundation is also raising awareness to all communities of the dangers of being bitten by ticks, spiders or mosquitos.  Much too often, people are (mis)diagnosed with many other illnesses. This foundation is run 100% by volunteers and 100% tax deductible. The foundation helps alleviates the financial hardship on those who cannot afford expensive Lyme disease testing not covered by insurance.