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For the past 14 years I ran my own sports massage business in Redondo Beach, California. I worked on professional athletes and people in my community who were in races and competitions. I did sports all my life, and on my vacations I would go hiking and camping. I worked hard and played hard.

In 2008, I was camping in Kings Canyon (High Sierra) and was bitten by an infected tick.  My husband saw this strange red bite on my back. We did not think much of the bite at the time.  For a few years, I had some unexplained fevers, joint and nerve pain, but I was able still able to work.

On January 15, 2011 I ruptured my L-5 disc. I had several steroid epidurals and a nerve block treatment.  Instead of making me better, after each treatment I had a week long fever, flu symptoms, and unexplained pain that did not correlate with my disc rupture.

The Orthopedic Surgeon ran some blood tests and found my blood work unusual.  Then after extensive blood tests, I tested positive for Lyme Disease and several co-infections from the Lyme Disease including, Babesia and Bartonella.

I went from playing sports and a having a job that was purely physical to not being able to get out of bed.  My symptoms became more severe and spread throughout my entire body.

Typically if a person is bitten by an infected tick and receives treatment right away, only 2 months of oral antibiotics is necessary.  I had 4 months of antibiotics, and my blood work did not improve.  The disease had shut my body's system completely down since it had been in my body for over 3 years. The cortisone injections had suppressed my immune system, and my body was no longer strong enough to fight off the spirochete bacteria.

I have now been on IV (intravenous) treatment for 20 months. I have a Picc Line in my arm, and receive 4 hours of IV antibiotics treatment daily. A nurse comes every week to change my Picc Line bandage. I am on a handful of oral medications and supplements.

The doctors are treating each co-infection one at a time. The specialists think that I will need at least another 12 to 18 months of IV treatments. I have 8 pages of Lab Blood Work that is constantly being updated & analyzed, but here is a quick summary of the main problems.

The CDC(Center for Disease Control) has said that if you are bitten from a Lyme tick, one can take oral antibiotics for 4 weeks and can get better. Therefore, the insurance will only pay for one month of medication. However, specialists have found that is only true if you know you were bitten recently. If the Lyme disease attacks the central and neurological system without you knowing you were bitten, then it can take years to fix all the damage that was done. The tick's saliva has a chemical in it that prevents you from feeling an itch. Since they are so tiny, ticks can often bite you in places you cannot see, so you may never know they were there.

​In October of 2012, I went off all antibiotics for 8 weeks in order to do a new blood test called (Poly Borrelia Culture Test).  I had been on strong antibiotics for Lyme Disease for 14 months (4 months of oral antibiotics and 10 months of Intravenous antibiotics), and the test came back positive for Borrelia.  Not only was the test positive; it actually had photographs of the Borrelia that were saturated in my blood swimming every which way. * Insurance will only pay for one month of antibiotics, because of what the CDC claims.  However, there is actual proof that it takes more than 1 month of antibiotics with some patients.  I had 14 months of antibiotics, and the Borrelia was still everywhere in my blood stream! So now you ask why doesn't the CDC update their information?  Well, it is in the insurance companies best interest not to pay the sick patients who need this medication, because it is expensive.  But who may the insurance companies be paying off to keep the case shut?  That is up for you to decide.....

On a positive note: ​​​​​​
​My days are full of nurse and doctors appointments, or paperwork for my medical bills.  The days go fast and sometimes I can not do very much. I usually feel like I have a horrible flu and just want to crawl in a ball. I feel weak and my joints and tendons feel as if they have been attacked by arthritis. Everything hurts all the time. The pain specialists have helped my pain from a 10 to an 8, but it is still an 8.
Acupunture and Massage helps with the joint pain, but I can not do that every day. I wish I could clone myself in order to have "a healthy Renee" massage my muscles and joints.

I have come a long way, and I will get there. I know I will.  ​It just takes time to undo the damage that has been done after all these years.​​

-Renee Avis
Redondo Beach, California

IGENEX LAB Blood Panel
Lyme Disease                             Positive        Mychoplasma Pneumoniae AB           1:64 High
Babesia Ducani                          Positive        41 band IGG                                           Reactive
41 band IGG                              Reactive        Stool Test for Parasites                         Positive
Babesia Fish                               Positive        Human Trans Growth Beta 1                High 5020
Bartonella Henselae                   Positive         Poly Borrelia Culture test                     Positive Spirochetes


The best way to contact Renee is by email

Details on Upcoming Friends of Renee Fundraiser:​​
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