I rise today to acknowledge the debilitating and devastating impact of Lyme disease, which I only recently found out about through one of my community forums, where I met Marie Huttley-Jackson. She told me about her eight-year-old daughter, Genevieve. Genevieve suffers from Lyme disease and has been living with it for three years, after she was bitten by a tick in Sydney when she was five. Immediately after she was bitten, Genevieve had a bullseye rash, flu-like symptoms and trouble walking.
Marie, Genevieve's mother, says her daughter's symptoms vary and some days are better than others. On a bad day, Genevieve cannot get out of bed. She suffers from foot and ankle pain, requiring a wheelchair or crutches. On other days, she may suffer from random blindness, a loss of colour vision, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, insomnia, light sensitivity, breathing problems and numbness all over her body. Since Genevieve was bitten by a tick in 2012, she and her mother have seen about 30 doctors. Marie says it took 20 months and 23 health professionals to get a diagnosis, and by that time her body was riddled with multiple bacteria.
I call for more research so that we can develop a national plan to collect statistics and develop treatments for people living with Lyme disease, and I also encourage us all to provide support and acknowledge the work of the Lyme Disease Association of Australia. They provide invaluable support to families, parents and children suffering from Lyme disease. As Marie said:
The thing that made my life better was finding the Lyme Disease Association of Australia. They have provided both practical and emotional support, information …(time expired)