Lyme disease sufferer, Mandalaine Dagan hoping to raise $30,000 for treatment in Germany. Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times
Lyme disease sufferer, Mandalaine Dagan hoping to raise $30,000 for treatment in Germany. Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times Greg Miller

Mum battling lyme disease wants ticket to Germany

"A TRIP to Germany and $30,000 for Lyme disease heat treatment."

That was the response yesterday when The Gympie Times asked Paterson mother Mandarlaine Dagan what she wanted for Mother's Day.

She says too many people do not believe the disease exists in Australia.

But if the painful, paralysing and arthritic symptoms she constantly experiences are not Lyme disease, she would like to know what they are. And she would be especially happy if someone could make her better.

Ms Dagan has, over the past five years, found herself battling not just an illness, but the scepticism of the medical authorities.

The headaches started after she woke at her Paterson home one morning to find she had been bitten severely by ticks during the night.

The advancing paralysis started some months later.

The hard part for Ms Dagan is her role as a single mother.

But that, she says, is also the part that helps her survive.

With two teenagers and a 10-year-old, she says the support of her children is sometimes all that makes life possible.

And Mothers Day tomorrow will be no different from any other day in that regard.

"Sometimes they're not happy about it, but they've just got to help. And they do.

"I've been on about 12 to 15 different antibiotics because it is a live infection, not left over poison.

Health authorities generally maintain that Australia does not have Lyme disease, except if caught overseas.

Such is the establishment's determination not to recognise her suffering, she says doctors are afraid to treat it.

"I'd been milking cows at Theebine. We were living at Miva at the time," she said.

"I had to use crutches at the 2012 Gympie Show.

"Now I need a wheel chair," she said.

Fast facts

The Lyme Disease Association of Australia lists some common myths.

Other organisations also calling for greater recognition and more action include: The Country Women's Association, the Lyme Disease Association of Australia and the Karl McManus Association

Claimed myths: There is no Lyme disease in Australia

Lyme disease testing is reliable

Lyme disease is not serious

Cause: a bacterial infection usually transmitted when a tick penetrates the skin



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