May 31, 2015


Dearest Daniel, Tanner & Ride for Lyme Support Team;

There are many parallels that can be drawn between the road traveled by Chronic Lyme patients and the journey you, Daniel and Tanner, have undertaken with your Ride for Lyme.

Fighting and living with Chronic Lyme is not unlike the terrain you have encountered thus far as you pedal your way across this great country of ours - from the grueling climbs of the mountain passes to the long, barren stretches across the grand expanse of the Canadian prairies. 

As you relentlessly push forward through each valley and over every peak, you become more conditioned and better equipped for the trials and unforeseen forks in the road this journey will take you on. Even so, and as it is with living with Lyme, it will never get easier to maneuver the unforeseen bumps in the road - the potholes, the nails and flats yet to be encountered. There are sure to be days that will empty you of every single ounce of energy and you will wonder how you will find the strength to keep going... day after day after day. There will also be days you hit your stride and just cruise along... sun warming your head and wind at your back. 

Much like Lyme, this ride will take everything out of you. Most likely, you will mentally, emotionally and physically hit the proverbial wall - maybe even more than once. It will require more strength, more perseverance, more stamina than you have ever imagined you are capable of. 

Along the way, you will encounter some of the most courageous, caring and resilient people you have ever met - the Lyme patients themselves. And you will learn just how the land and your ride mirrors the effort it takes to live with and the fight that it takes to heal from this insidious disease. We have no doubt that these warriors will lift you up, support you and cheer you on towards the finish line. That is what the Lyme community does for each of its own. And you guys are one of our own now.

You will have to dig deep in order to keep moving forward in your pursuit of that finish line and yet...we have no doubt that you will finish. In fact, you will finish strong and changed. Forever changed. Stronger. Braver. More appreciative of life. Awed by the capacity of the human spirit and body to endure. More compassionate. More open. More aware.  Lyme has a way of doing that to people.

Thank you Daniel and Tanner for being that visual representation of our journey with Lyme & the road to recovery... for showing us that every journey has a start and a finish line. In much the same way that every Lyme patient has a start to their story - stories and lives that matter very much and are finally being heard through your daily ride dedications and interviews with the media - even though, few have crossed their finish line yet...we believe that each and every one can find their way across the finish line. We truly believe that there is a road out of this disease for everyone and that healing and recovery is possible.

We hope and pray that Ride for Lyme will pave the way for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease in Canada...and that each and every story told along the way will be the spark that ignites a flame of awareness, compassion and care across our country. 

Ride on, Ride for Lyme, Ride on!

With deepest gratitude, 

Graham and Shannon Goertzen
Taylor, Parker, Avery and our fur-baby, Harrison #lymepooch

Info about Ride for Lyme: (source: press release)

"At sunrise on May 11, 2015, Niagara, ON natives, 22 year old Daniel Corso and long time friend, Tanner Cookson began their 8,000 km bike ride across Canada to raise awareness and funds for Lyme Disease. 

The ride began in Victoria, BC at the Terry Fox "Mile 0" mark. The goal is to complete the ride in St. John's, Newfoundland by July 7, 2015.

A close Corso family friend, 24 year old Adelaine, who suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, was the initial inspiration for the ride; however, after learning the Canadian Health System does not recognize, effectively diagnose or provide treatment for the thousands of Canadians infected by Lyme, the ride became crucial.

"We will be riding across the country this spring to give hope to those who suffer from the disease." added Corso

What Ride for Lyme wants to accomplish:

1. Raise $100,000 in donations for Canlyme for Lyme research
2. Appeal to the Canadian government to address the need for effective testing in Canada
3. Bring awareness to the sympotoms, testing and treatment of Lyme

Please visit the Ride for Lyme website at:

Be sure to follow the Ride for Lyme journey on social media -
Facebook - Ride for Lyme
Twitter - Ride for Lyme @rideforlyme
Instagram - RIDE_FOR_LYME

As of Saturday, May 30, 2015, the dynamic duo has already reached Winnipeg, Manitoba!

May 1, 2015


our dog harrison is a rather unique dog with an unusual skill set - he dabbles in DIY projects, sews, tweets, loves plaid, surfs the internet, never tires of eating cheese and recently has been moonlighting as a Lyme PAW-ster boy and advocate (aka #lymepooch).

(read more about harrison here or visit his facebook page here). 

harrison also has a really big heart for kids with lyme. he was on the computer more than usual this week - turns out he had some stuff he needed to get off his chest. i let his paws do the typing which ultimately culminated in him writing a very special blog post for kids with lyme. 

so, yes, you are about to read a blog post written by a dog. will wonders ever cease? apparently not as he also has excellent punctuation and command of the caps lock key. unlike me.

so without further ado, i hand over this post to our wonder pooch, harrison...

Harrison it's been a pretty ruff here since Sparky started his new treatment and it's made him really sick. His heart hurts too. I can hear the aching in it. And I'm feeling sad about that.  

And you know what? I can feel the heaviness and hurt in my people's hearts too.

It's got me thinking -  I bet there are a whole lotta other kids with lyme in need of a big ol' lymepooch smooch because I can actually hear the aching in each and every one of your brave and bruised warrior hearts. (Dogs have exceptional hearing) So this goes out from my heart to yours...

Dear Extraordinary & Brave Kids with Lyme,

I know what you are dealing with bites. Big time. In fact, it downright stinks!

I can feel the way your tender little heart is heavy and weighted down by this battle. And that life just feels scary and hard and really, really tiring.

You've probably grown really weary of taking all your meds - especially when they make you feel sicker. I know it's super duper hard to keep taking them when they don't seem to be helping. Chances are you are probably thinking,

"What's the point of taking all this stuff when it's not making me feel better or grow stronger?"

Have you ever wondered about how things grow? I sure have. I live in the city and I don't have a back yard where I live so I don't have much experience gardening. But I like learning about stuff, so one day I planted a little seed.

I had to bury that little seed way down deep in the dark earth - far away from light and life. Then I had to take care of it. I had to water it, feed it and make sure it got some sun. And that was kind of weird to do because all I could see was a little pile of dirt. 

Do you know why it was super important that I keep taking really good care of that dirt pile? Because my tiny little seed was actually sprouting way down there in the dark! Even though I couldn't see any signs of life, that little sprout was growing every single day. 

It takes a really long time for a little seed to sprout and then grow strong and tall enough to push through the darkness into the light. 

It was really frustrating and tiring to do all this stuff to take care of my seed when all I saw was a pile of dirt and no signs of life. It was really hard to even believe that my little seed was sprouting and growing underneath all that dirt. I had to be so patient and just trust that all the things I was doing to take care of that little unseen seed was really helping it to sprout and grow.

It's kinda the same with lyme treatment. You gotta trust that what your parents and doctors are telling you to do is helping you heal and grow. You have to keep believing that all those pills and IVs and water and healthy food is actually helping your body heal - long before you feel stronger or healthier. 

Here's the thing - I can't tell you exactly when you'll finally feel better...but with absolute certainty, I can tell you this: 

You are extraordinary,
you are brave,
extraordinary and brave people overcome bad stuff every single day!

You are one of them! And just like that little sprouting seed - you are growing stronger and healthier every day - even if you can't see or feel it right now.

I know it's really hard to even believe that you are extraordinary and brave when you feel so bad and have been sick for a really long time.

Chances are that sometimes, late at night, as the world sleeps, you lay awake in a crumpled heap of pain staring into the dark of the night and you feel very alone, very small and very scared.

Chances are you think about a lot of tough stuff and maybe you've got some secret fears and worries;

Like how bewildering it is to live in a body that works for an hour or two and then quits for days on end.

How some of your symptoms are so scary you can't find the words to describe them.

How some of your symptoms are so confusing that you hide them from your friends and family.

How sometimes you don't even tell your parents how bad you hurt cuz you don't want to worry them.

Chances are you worry about the future - you wonder when or if you will ever get better. If you were born with this disease maybe you've even thought you were destined for a lifetime of sickness.

Chances are you've lost friends and sometimes strangers stare when you roll by 
and maybe all of that makes you think that somehow you are unlovable, unworthy or weird. 

Chances are you've had some teachers that didn't believe you when you said you were trying your hardest but sometimes it's just really hard to remember stuff or read or write. Maybe they even said you were faking it or just being lazy.  

Chances are you've had some doctors tell you they don't believe you are sick. They may have even been downright cruel and laughed at you and said you were just using your wheelchair to get attention.

When people, especially big people that are supposed to help us, don't believe in us or say really hurtful things or even bully us, well, that is super confusing, frustrating and maddening. It can bruise your heart and tear you down. It can even make you doubt yourself or hate yourself.

I know that sometimes all of your thoughts and feelings get all twisted up inside you. Sometimes they make you explode and cry and scream and rage. I know how sad and confused and maybe even ashamed you feel when that happens.

I want you to know that it is perfectly normal to feel and think about these things. I also want you to know that not every thought we have is true! Thoughts can be real tricksters - sometimes they lie to us and when we believe those lies, we start to feel really bad about ourselves. In our house, we call that stinking thinking!

Stinking thinking can make you think that the bad things that happen are somehow your fault or you deserve them or that things will always be really bad.

I know that sometimes you think that maybe it's some how your fault that you are sick - maybe you told a lie once or were mean to someone or got sassy with your parents and that's why you are sick. Maybe you even think you did something so big and bad that you actually deserve to be sick and in pain.

Dearest beloved sprout - it is not your fault that you are sick or not better yet.

I know that sometimes it is really hard to remember stuff or write or read but that is not you - that is the bugs in your brain. You are not bad or dumb. Those bugs are! This suffering that you are enduring it has made you kind, thoughtful and wise beyond your years. 

And that wheelchair that you are in - you didn't choose it for use it to DO life... even when it is hard, you hurt all over and you know people are going to stare, you get in that chair and show up to do life the best way you can right now. Can you see how extraordinary and brave that makes you?

Dearest extraordinary and brave sprout - you are NOT lyme!  You are SO MUCH MORE than this thing that has taken up residence in your body. 

You are just like that extraordinary and brave little sprout - you are an unfolding miracle, a downright masterpiece, a lovable, worthy, tough NINJA sprout that is growing and healing in spite of all the dirt and darkness that surrounds you.

You know how I know that you are extraordinary and brave?

Because you woke up today and even though you felt horrible and it feels like everything stinks, you kept fighting.

WOAH - something here actually does stink for real! 
Oh, wait, my bad, I just farted!
Pardon me!


I think you just smiled, didn't you?

Farting does that to people - even big people (but sometimes they act all huffy and proper about it cuz they're a bit embarrassed by it. The thing that is funny about that is the older you get the more you fart because you have less control in that area of your body!)

I bet you're grinning now... maybe even giggling a bit.

You know what?
That makes you extraordinary & brave - because, in spite of how bad you feel, you are smiling.

Just PAW-se for a moment and think really hard about that.

You just smiled... 
Maybe you are so sick right now that you haven't been able to leave your bedroom for days, or play in weeks, or got to school in years -  yet you are sitting there smiling.

That makes you extraordinary. And brave. Really, really brave.

You are NOT lyme - You are an extraordinary sprouty-person living a really brave life.

I see that. 

There are going to be days when it gets really, really hard
hurts more than you think you can bear 
you are not going to feel extraordinary or brave.

When you have a day that just stinks so bad, I hope you'll remember this...

You are an extraordinary sprout living a really brave life and this gassy pooch is rooting for you. I love you and I believe in you.

Affectionately yours,
Harrison Phineas Goertzen, #LymePooch