Plover man shares frustrating experiences with Lyme Disease

Lance Aeby is trying to raise $30,000 with community support through a GoFundMe.
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 9:29 PM CDT
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PLOVER, Wis. (WSAW) - A Portage County man is getting overwhelming community support as he battles Chronic Lyme Disease. It’s a disease that’s changed Lance Aeby’s life, and has set him back financially.

“My life has been put on hold, they call Lyme the great time thief,” Aeby said.

The 31-year-old spent nearly seven years trying to figure out what was wrong with him.

“It’s been an absolutely brutal last seven years,” Aeby said.

He first noticed something was off when he had a panic attack sitting in class at UWSP.

“Half my face went numb and I started sweating, I couldn’t breathe, my heart started going crazy and like a bunch of other symptoms that come along with a panic attack,” Aeby said.

Aeby then noticed trouble with his eyesight, each time he’d put on a new pair of glasses, he’d get nauseous and have eye pain. He said he hasn’t been able to watch tv in years and has trouble reading. He’s been to hundreds of doctor appointments, but still no answers.

“I’ve been referred for, like, ‘here just go take some migraine medicine,’ just lots of uninformed doctors that kind of dismiss you,” Aeby said.

Finally in August 2021, he was referred to a doctor that oversees the Tick-Borne Illness Center of Excellence in Woodruff. Aeby no-doubt had Lyme Disease, something that should have been diagnosed years ago.

“The longer an individual is ill before being treated, the more severely ill they are,” Tick-Borne Illness Center of Excellence Clinician Dr. Samuel Shor said.

Aeby now meets with Dr. Shor virtually every six weeks as part of his rehabilitation. The peak months for tick-borne diseases are between April and August. Shor said it’s best to avoid grassy and wooded areas without long pants and to get tested right away.

“If you don’t treat acute Lyme Disease you can develop chronic symptoms,” Shor said.

Symptoms to watch out for include a sore throat, lymph-node swelling, a bullseye rash, and joint pain. Because of Lyme Disease, Aeby hasn’t been able to work in months and the cost for treatment isn’t cheap. Now he has a GoFundMe to help him out. In just under a week, he’s raised nearly $20,000. He said the support has been a gift in itself.

“The community has just came together. It’s not like it cures me faster, but it makes it much more bearable to have people around you,” Aeby said.

Aeby said he’s still struggling and there’s a lot of work to be done before he’s fully healthy. He’s trying to raise $30,000. Follow the link to donate to Lance Aeby’s GoFundMe.

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