Letter to the Editor: A race to beat Lyme disease

Diagnosed with Lyme disease at the age of 8, Cullman native Madeline Hill raises funds to assist others with the cost of medical care.

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Madeline hosting one of her fundraising events (Photo courtesy of Becca Hill)

In June of 2012, our family visited a petting zoo in the Florida Keys. The next night, we ended up in the ER with a rash that would overtake Madeline’s body. The doctor administered medication and sent us home. He said it could be from the palm tree she climbed the evening before and told us to stay away from palm trees and products that contain palm oil. Fast forward four years later, when Madeline would begin to experience excruciating pain in her knees. We thought it was growing pains and tried to take care of it with warm baths, massage and OTC medications. 

The pain worsened and she was fatigued all the time. This was very abnormal for her and I knew something else was wrong. After two separate doctor visits and a lot of lab work, she was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus and told “to rest.” Something did not sit well because she had been “resting” for 18 months. I knew my baby was sick. 

A good friend of mine approached me with the possibility of Lyme disease. She and her daughter were both in remission and recognized Madeline’s symptoms. She encouraged me to get an iGenex test and seek out an LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). I did, and two of the bands came back ++ (double positive). I immediately made an appointment with a doctor in Orlando and off we began on our Lyme journey. Finally, in June 2018, Madeline was officially diagnosed with Lyme, as well as Chronic Epstein Barr and Chronic Mycoplasma. She remains under his care and we are still trying to piece together the puzzle of Lyme, and treat the many co-infections associated with these horrible diseases. 

Unfortunately, insurance does not cover the treatment of Lyme and many children and adults are suffering. Madeline was grateful to receive 2 grants from the LymeLight Foundation and Lyme Warrior which allowed her to continue treatment. Inspired by this, Madeline wants to help others with the costs of treatment and eventually raise funds to provide service dogs for kids with Lyme. 

Join us in her journey! 

The City of Hanceville, Mayor Kenneth Nail and City Council Member Patty Dean have graciously agreed to let Madeline host a 5K Fun Run/Walk on May 15 at the Veterans Memorial Park. The event will take place at 8 a.m. and the cost to run is $15. 

Participants are encouraged to sign up on Run Signup in order to receive a medal at the finish line. T-shirts are also for sale on the website. Visit https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/x/lymewarrior5k for more information. You can also follow Madeline’s journey on Facebook and Instagram under “MadeLyme” or on her website at https://madelyme.com/ 

Sponsorships available! We would like to thank Trinkets and Traditions of Hanceville, Alabama Precious Metals and the City of Hanceville for their continued support. Contact Becca Hill for more information on sponsorship levels: 830-237-6259.