Olivia Goodreau is our Junior Ambassador, who is is a fierce 12 years old battling Lyme Disease.
At the age of 6, Olivia was bitten by a tick in Missouri. Olivia started having body aches, brain fog, headaches, a tremor in her right hand, and fainting. Olivia’s parents took her to over 50 doctors to no avail. Olivia underwent MRI’s, cat-scans, spinal taps, EKG’s, EEG’s, a liver biopsy, upper and lower endoscopy, had her adenoids removed, and over 100 blood draws. Olivia was misdiagnosed with Wilson’s disease but the biopsy showed otherwise. Later, the doctors thought that maybe Olivia was making this up.
Finally, another doctor did more tests and took the time to see what the other doctors had missed – Lyme Disease. This doctor put her on 30 days of antibiotics and said Olivia would be back to normal. By the 5th day of being on the antibiotics, her Mom said, she saw the twinkle in her eye that had been missing for 18 months. Olivia felt much better and her 3rd grade teacher called her Mom and said, “I just met Olivia for the first time, and she is really funny.” They both started to cry.
Unfortunately, after her 30 days of antibiotics were over, Olivia started to nose dive again. Her parents knew they needed to find a Lyme specialist. The Lyme specialist discovered that Olivia also had 2 co-infections, Bartonella and Babesia. Olivia states “Lyme disease is a weird disease because you think you are doing great one day and then you can’t get out of bed the next. We call those Lyme Days.” Olivia used to have a Lyme Day every day, but now is down to about one every 6 weeks.
Olivia started the LivLyme Foundation to raise money for children that cannot afford their Lyme medication and to raise money to find a cure for all of us suffering from Lyme disease. At a gala in 2017, LivLyme Foundation raised nearly quarter million dollars! Olivia has successfully challenged state elected officials and the cast of Modern Family to Take a Bite out of Lyme Disease, among others. Olivia would like for you to remember “you are just one bite away from getting Lyme Disease.”