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CJ's Lyme success story

"You've gotta hear this!"

That was the subject line in CJ's note to me the other day. Turns out she was right -- I did. I just hung up this minute from our conversation, and I'm still smiling. She's one of those sunshiny souls that just can't help but affect people that way. What does she do for a living? She's the office manager of a trapeze school. Not your normal occupation, but then CJ isn't your average person. Actually, she participates in ironman competitions. Does she still have Lyme? Yes. Does she let it bring her down? If she does, she's not letting it show.

CJ's success story, like everyone who has struggled to defeat the disability that can accompany Lyme disease, comes at a price. She was misunderstood and misdiagnosed for a long time. As a teenager, she attended music camp where she concentrated on her highly developed skills as a flautist. Gifted on both the flute and piccolo, and disciplined about practice, she was headed for a life of professional music.

However, a tick bite that she got at camp stopped her in her tracks. She called home, begging her puzzled mother to let her leave early. Her mom knew something was seriously wrong.

CJ's story takes many jogs and unexpected turns. She falls in love, marries, then deals head on with an unsupportive spouse (a bastard and a s^%#head, to quote her precisely). And the most remarkable thing happens. She finds inspiration in a nine-year-old leukemia patient facing two years of chemotherapy. She is a nurse. At his bedside, she tells him that she's going to run in a charity race on his behalf. He looks at her, asks "can you run?"

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