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Friends of Renee

-Our awesome friend Renee Avis unknowingly contracted Lyme disease while hiking in the Sierras in 2008. Two years later, she discovered she had Lyme and several other co-diseases transmitted by a bug bite (most likely a tick, but possibly a spider).

Our primary goal is to raise money to pay for Renee's out of pocket medical bills not covered by health insurance, which amounts to about $30,000 per year. Since December of 2011, we have raised over $75,000 from donations and proceeds from fundraisers like the upcoming Blues-N-Clues Bar and Beach Scavenger Hunt (as of July 21. Renee has made improvements amidst some setbacks, and has more treatments scheduled to improve her condition.  We hope this will lead her to a state of health where she can function normally and regain her financial independence once again.

The other goal of Friends of Renee is to raise awareness of Lyme disease, which is the fastest growing epidemic in the United States! Do yourself a favor: read the summary and links below to learn more about how you, your friends, and loved ones can avoid getting Lyme disease, or at least how to detect it early enough to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and years of pain and suffering!!

-NBC LA Video:

-Beach Reporter In-Depth Coverage on Renee’s Plight:

Lyme Disease is spread primarily by the tiny deer tick (black legged tick). These ticks feed on blood, and infected ticks transmit the disease as they feed. Although the deer tick prefers to feed on wild animals, especially mice, birds, possum, raccoon, livestock, and deer, they will also feed on dogs, cats, and humans.


• Is a spiral-shaped microscopic organism that can scoot around inside the body by rotating in place, like a corkscrew. It downloads into the bloodstream of a critter or a person. The spirochete can leave the blood stream and invade the tissues and organs.


• Blacklegged ticks are so small they are hard to see.

• The Lyme rash is often confused with a spider bite.

• Less than 50% patients get a rash.

• Lyme symptoms can develop days or months after bite.

• You can test negative and still have Lyme disease.

• Diagnosis is based on a patient’s symptoms, history, examination and blood work.

• Lyme bacterium can cross the placenta into the fetus & can cause death. Its’ DNA can be found in breast milk.

• You can contract other diseases from the same tick bite.

• Lyme patients often get worse before getting better with treatment – it is called the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction.

• Babesiosis are parasites that infect the red blood cells.

• Bartonellosis Ehrlichiosis and Rickettsiosis are infectious diseases produced by bacteria found in the tick.

LYME DISEASE SYMPTOMS: feeling as though you have the flu, fever, chills, extreme fatigue, joint and muscle pain & weakness, swelling in toes, ankle pain, stiffness in joints, neck or back (diffused pain), reproductive problems, heart palpations, vision problems, buzzing or ringing in ears, seizures, disturbed sleep, nausea, vomiting, cognitive problems, neuropathy, and bladder dysfunction. PREVENTION Grasp tick close to skin with tweezers & pull straight out.

• Get spray: DEET for your skin & Permethrin for your clothes.

• Check yourself & your children for ticks especially in belly button, hair and scalp, in & around ears, near waist, & behind knees.

• Put tick in a plastic bag with a wet cotton ball & write your name and date on it. Bring the bag to your vet or doctor.

• See a Lyme-literate practitioner & send blood tests to Igenex Labs.


• Stage 1 is called early localized Lyme disease. The infection is not yet widespread throughout the body.

• Stage 2 is called early disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have begun to spread to the joints, the heart and nervous system.

• Stage 3 is called late disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have spread throughout the body. It can be disabling and difficult to treat.

Lyme Disease Association:

American Lyme Disease Foundation:

New Lyme culture test:

Lab Contact:

Most Rapidly Growing Infectious Disease in America:

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