Just like that, The Last Desert is upon us. The completion of a year long quest to become the first woman in the world to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus.
As I type this note, I am looking at our boat docked at the port that we will live on for the next 10 days. What a rush eh?!?!
The journey is going to be a tough one at points as we adventure through the Drake Passage and some of the roughest seas in the world. We have all of our sea sickness medicine lined up to try to conquer the odds and end up 2.5 days later in one piece.
From there, the journey will begin with the long day as the first day. The goal will be to run around 100k if possible. Each day in The Last Desert is weather dependent. Antarctica can have variable weather and change in a moments notice. At any time that can end the day.
Final preparations take place today with last minute shopping in the town of Ushuaia, a team meeting at 12 noon and then we will embark at 4pm.
I am so excited, nervous, and beyond for this journey. The training is in the bag and has been complete. From here it is time to rest up and enjoy the long journey at sea.
I am ready to get out there and give my last push. Here are the goals at hand:
1. Become the first woman in the world to complete the Grand Slam Plus
2. Become the female champion at The Last Desert
3. Be crowned the 2016 4 Deserts Champion
4. Raise at least 10k for the LymeLight Foundation
Just one of these goals is a huge feat, let alone all four. I am so honored to have the potential and be in a position to try to get them all in 10 days time. As the year comes to a close I want to take this first post to showcase information about Lyme Disease and the LymeLight Foundation. Please joing me by donating to help provide a medical grant for a child or young adult to gain the medical care they need to get better here: https://lymelightfoundation.org/auxiliary-event/4-deserts-grand-slam-plus/
ABOUT THE LYMELIGHT FOUNDATION AND LYME DISEASE
The LymeLight Foundation provides medical grants to children and young adults under the age of 25 that are suffering from Lyme Disease. To date they have currently raised $2.1M. The grants help children to get the medical care that they need as insurance to this date does not cover it. Often times families go broke trying to help their children out. Lyme Disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the world. Here are some other facts and information:
WHAT IS IT: Lyme Disease is an infection caused by the spirochete bacteria - Borrelia Burgdorferi. Lyme Disease has 6 times more new cases each year than HIV/AIDS yet receives less than 1% of the funding. There are 300k new cases each year in the USA alone. That is 1.5 times more than the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED: Lyme Disease is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. The most common carrier is the backlogged deer tick, Ixodes Scapularis. However, various types of ticks have been known to transmit the disease, and can be found in all fifty states and 6 continents. Ticks often carry other co-infections such as Babesia, Bartonella and Chrlichia.
LYME DISEASE TESTING: Because Lyme disease evades the immune system, Lyme disease is only detectable by conventional testing when it sin the earliest stages. If the bacteria infection becomes chronic, the rate of false-negatives in testing increases exponentially. These ticks, often the size of a poppy seed, can leave an undetectable bite. Some cases will create a red bullseye effect around the area. The medical community is conflicted on treatment guidelines. Therefore, health insurance often does not cover the treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease. Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme Disease recall a tick bite or any rash.
LYME DISEASE SYMPTOMS: Fatigue, neck stiffness or pain, jaw discomfort, muscle pain, joint aches like arthritis - typically in the knees, swollen glands, memory loss, cognitive confusion, vision problems, digestive issues, headaches, and fainting.
LYME DIESAESE TREATMENT: When detected early in its stage, Lyme Disease is treatable with an appropriate course of antibiotic therapy. If undetected and untreated, the bacteria replicates and the disease progresses into its late stages, becoming chronic. Treatment for Chronic Lyme disease is prolonged and complex. Patients often require years of intensive conventional and alternative therapies to fight the infection, recover immune function, and gain strength.
Lyme disease is a worldwide infectious disease and has been reported in all 50 states and every Continent but Antarctica.
Children are at the highest risk of contracting Lyme Disease and are more vulnerable to central nervous system infections.
Transmission of Lyme Disease can happen in a matter of minutes, particularly if the tick is not removed properly.
Lyme Disease has been called “The Great Imitator” and can be mistaken for ALS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, and other illnesses.
Studies show that standard laboratory tests recommended by the CDC to diagnose Lyme Disease miss approximately half of the actual cases, leading to misdiagnosis and an infection that is more difficult to treat.
Over 63% of patients treated for Lyme Disease continue to suffer symptoms that can be debilitating.