The insidious, treacherous bacterium that causes a cascade of neurological and systemic explosions in your brain and body are not picky. They don’t care if you have a mansion in the hills or sleep in a tent. The ticks that spread this scourge upon humanity crave the taste of the blood of a president, a celebrity, a hiker, a dog or a deer all the same. So it’s not a surprise that the rich and famous among us are also being devastated and ravaged by Lyme disease. The pain and suffering they experience is the same as everyone else. The overwhelming fear of what is happening to their bodies paralyzes their minds in a state of shock. No one seems to understand what is happening and they can’t find the words or be able to hold onto the simple sliver of a thought for more than a moment. Their pain and despair is as real as the real “everyday” people that Lyme disease curses. I applaud them and all Lyme warriors that have gone through their journey to the other side of hell and back are now Lyme Survivors!
President George W. Bush
Certainly, President George W. Bush is the most famous person to have contracted Lyme Disease back in 2006. Lucky for Mr. President, he caught it early when he developed the bullseye rash, erythema migrans, and his doctors treated him immediately. Since the president loved to mountain bike, that is the likely manner in which he contracted the disease. Unfortunately, he did not do more to bring about Lyme disease awareness during his time in office, which might have made significant changes in how Lyme disease is treated today.
Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
In her essay titled ‘The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult’, written and published in 1996. Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker, documented her struggle with Lyme disease. During the filming of the movie based on her book, The Color Purple, Alice began experiencing Lyme disease symptoms, which she says caused the breakdown of her relationship and her ability to work. Since her recovery, stating that she is cured of Lyme disease, Alice has become a Lyme disease advocate.
Yolanda Foster, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is far from what most people consider real, but Yolanda Foster has been hit particularly hard by Lyme disease. She has bravely been sharing her Lyme disease treatment and experience with the world and his done a tremendous amount to bring about Lyme disease awareness. She has tirelessly traveled the world seeking her recovery.
Pretty Woman actor, Richard Gere, has also fallen prey to Lyme disease but says that he is cured of the disease with no chronic effects. While filming ‘Autumn in New York’ with Winona Ryder, he was diagnosed with Lyme. He allegedly told friends, “This is one scary disease. I felt as though every ounce of strength had gone from my body. Within hours I could barely lift my head from the pillow.”
Although not many details are known about his journey with Lyme disease, Alec Baldwin, in an interview with the New York Times, said that his symptoms return annually and he gets very tired.
Daryl Hall, Singer, Hall & Oates
I am sure Daryl Hall was thinking of his famous song, “No I Can’t Go For That”, when he was first diagnosed with Lyme disease back in 2006. While on stage, he became extremely ill and barely made it offstage with a 102 fever. The duo’s remaining tour schedule was cancelled and he immediately received antibiotic treatment. He states he has no lasting effects from the illness.
Archery World Champion, Mel Clarke
World Champion Archer, Mel Clarke has an extremely debilitating case of Lyme that almost killed her. While attending the World Archery Championships in 2003, Clarke the number 2 ranked archer in the world at the time, rapidly became ill during the competition. Within a few short minutes, she was unconscious and ultimately placed on life support. After being unconscious for nearly two weeks, she awoke to the horror or a ventilator and a feeding tube. As a result of her battle with Lyme disease and a prior arthritic condition, Mel Clarke was left paralyzed from the waist down and blind in one eye. Despite all of these mountains being put in her way including her own doctors telling her that she would never shoot an arrow again, she won the silver medal in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London and has earned six Paralympic world records to add to her trophy case with her ten national able-bodied records. Way to go Mel!
Jamie Lynn Sigler, actress, Meadow “Soprano”
“It was such a life-altering experience… I realized it could all be taken away in a moment.” Jamie-Lynn Sigler, or more popularly known as Meadow Sopranos of the HBO series The Sopranos, described her ordeal with Lyme disease in her memoir ‘Wise Girl’. She was 19 years old and filming the HBO series when she contracted Lyme disease. What started out as tingling in her feet quite quickly progressed to paralysis of her legs. Luckily, Sigler suffers no ill-effects as a result of her brush with Lyme disease.