US Open Winner Fundraises for Tick Control and Lyme Disease
A world-class tennis champion is helping raise awareness and money for Lyme disease charity the LymeLight Foundation.
2011 US Open Winner Sam Stosur looks like the epitome of physical fitness – lean, toned and powerful. But it wasn’t always this way. In 2007, during the world-famous Wimbledon tennis competition, she started developing symptoms that would eventually turn out to be Lyme disease.
“I got inflamed glands, puffiness in my face and neck, a rash all over my body, extreme tiredness, headaches, body aches, swollen hands and feet,” she writes on her blog. “Each day I would have something new and the doctors weren’t sure what was going on.”
Initially diagnosed as Rubella, Sam thought the worst had passed when the symptoms subsided – but the long term repercussions soon become clear.
“I lost in the first round at the US open that year. Worse still, I was absolutely exhausted after the first four games of my first-round match.” Some truly terrifying health scares followed – including a spinal tap for suspected viral meningitis. Only weeks later did the answer become clear.
“Once I was able to walk around without getting headaches I went to see an infectious disease specialist in Tampa. After a couple of weeks of seeing this doctor and having several different tests and visits to him he diagnosed me with Lyme disease. I had never heard of it and didn’t know what it was. He explained to me it is extremely hard to diagnose and you have to base it on symptoms as well as what the tests come back with and he was sure that’s what I had.”
A long battle against the disease followed – but fortunately, Sam’s story had a happy ending. In 2011, she went on to win the US Open and prove to the world that she was back, and better than ever.
But Sam’s battle with Lyme affected her deeply – so much so that in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, she became one of 10 athletes sponsored by sports brand Oakley to sign up for their 2012 Beyond Reason Campaign.
She’s raising money for the Lymelight Foundation in order to help families impacted by Lyme disease – and you can help. Sign up for Sam Stosur’s team at the Beyond Reason site and help her get to the top of the leaderboard. In addition to the money raised through the sale of sponsored Oakley merchandise, if Sam wins, LymeLight will receive the proceeds of three Oakley Beyond Reason auction kits.
Whether you get involved or not, do take Sam’s story seriously. Lyme disease is a debilitating and dangerous condition and protecting yourself and your family from the tick bites that carry it is incredibly important. Make sure you prevent tick bites by getting rid of ticks from your yard and garden. Talk to a tick control specialist, like the experts from Aspenn Environmental Service, about a yard spray for ticks or tick spray treatments than can help keep your lawn and landscape tick free all year round.