Stonewall woman fighting Lyme disease

Stonewall's Lauren Little, in an undated photo holding her daughter Lindley, is currently battling the effects of Lyme disease. Her family has started a GoFundMe page to recoup the costs of her treatments. (Photo credit: GoFundMe)

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Stonewall resident Mason Kurz describes his wife Lauren Little as someone who devotes herself to helping others and to raising their six-year-old daughter Lindley.

“She’s always helped anybody she could. (She would) volunteer,” Kurz told The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times. “She’s always been outgoing. It didn’t matter (to whom) it was, family or friends.”

But since the summer of 2018, Little has been through a battery of tests, numerous treatments and countless hospital stays trying to determine what was making her sick. Now, she is unable to work and mostly housebound while battling the effects of neurological Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted by black-legged ticks which brings with it a myriad of symptoms which can become more severe if left untreated. Kurz added that he and his wife don’t know what tomorrow would bring.

“Every day, you wake up and you don’t know,” he said. “She could come out of bed and go downstairs to the couch and sit there for the day. Some days, she could go into the car and go for a bit of a ride.”

Last year following a miscarriage, Little began to suffer from flu-like symptoms as well as weight gain, brain fog and insomnia, but believed it to be caused by stress and hormones. Over the next few months, she started having new symptoms such as migraines, heart palpitations, dizziness and new allergies. What followed were appointments with numerous health professionals not covered by insurance and providing little to no answers.

Kurz said that one doctor referred her to a psychologist and another told her that “things will get better on their own.” One time while she was taken by ambulance as her body became swollen and red, paramedics thought it was a panic attack. Medical tests in Manitoba and at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota were either inconclusive or gave false positives for other diseases. It wasn’t until her blood was tested at a lab in Germany that it was confirmed she had Lyme disease.

“It’s been nothing but bashing your head against the wall trying to get an answer,” Kurz added. “We’ve gone to every ER in this area: Selkirk, Stonewall, Grace (Hospital), HSC, St. Boniface … We’ve talked to Lyme Literate (and) infection specialist doctors in Manitoba and they’ve said there’s nothing they can do to help. It’s chronic, as they put it.”

Kurz estimated that him and his wife have already spent more than $50,000 to get a diagnosis and the supplements she is taking is not covered by the province. Because of this, he and Little have started a GoFundMe page which has already raised more than $9,000 since Nov. 21. Kurz added that there are plans for a fundraising social in the new year.

To donate online, visit: gofundme.com/f/save-lauren-little-from-neurological-lyme-disease.

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