The Lyme Trials
Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the United States. It is also the most controversial.
Upon its discovery in 1975, Lyme disease sparked a debate that has been escalating for 40 years. There are two sides, both made up of renowned doctors and scientists, that stand by opposite definitions of the same disease.
On one side, patients talk of a life altering illness. A 13-year-old girl is wheelchair bound after an untreated bull’s-eye rash, and a famous oncologist is forced to receive a heart transplant after Lyme bacteria ravaged his body. There’s the veteran that lost his eyesight along with his livelihood, and a wife who fights to have Lyme listed as the cause of her husband’s death – not ALS.
The other side, made up of the highest ranking medical institutions in the United States, says that Lyme Disease is easy to diagnose and easy to cure. They claim that many of these patients are suffering from something else – for which they need proper medical attention. Although they are the declared authority on this disease, these doctors have been stalked and even had their lives threatened by activists.
If science is fact, how is peer-reviewed research producing opposite results? If both sides are practicing evidence-based medicine, how is their evidence conflicting? Why are highly credible professionals risking their reputations to insist their understanding is right?
As two filmmakers with Lyme diagnoses, we have been thrown into the middle of this growing epidemic. We have been told that the current controversy is “unprecedented in medicine.” Our goal is to determine who is right, and ignite a nationwide conversation about the future of Lyme.
To do this we will journey across the country to meet with scientists, doctors, activists and policymakers on both sides of the divide. We will turn the camera on ourselves as we analyze the history and science, connecting the dots we discover along the way. As Lyme patients we are deeply invested in figuring this out. Our healing relies on knowing the facts – whatever they may be.
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