Adventures with Lyme Disease

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A peaceful moment in front of Cline Falls in Redmond, Oregon.

Chloe O’Neill, founder of the upstart organization More Than Lyme was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges. It was on a road trip to Mendocino, California, during a visit to her grandparents” place in 2001/02 that she began to feel ill with a constant migraine, fever and serious fatigue. The symptoms persisted and the battle to discover what was wrong went on for many years with no answers. Finally, through O”Neill”s persistence and that of her parents, as well as a series of new tests, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Unfortunately it was too late, and like many, this made Lyme disease something she will have to live with for the rest of her life.
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An evening canal trail walk not far from her home in Bend, Oregon.

Upon diagnosis, she immediately wanted to do something to help the Lyme community, but it took a few years to muster the courage and energy to launch MoreThanLyme.org in 2014, with the goal of encouraging outdoor communities and the Lyme community to spread awareness of the disease through sharing their adventures.

 

Catching the rays in Skylight Cave, Oregon

Catching the rays in Skylight Cave, Oregon

“I am very passionate about the outdoors and how it has helped me heal while giving me purpose in my day and reason to keep fighting for my health. More Than Lyme is a way for me to share my love for the outdoors while encouraging others to do the same: the more stories I can gather and spread across the Lyme community and beyond, the more awareness will be spread to people that have not yet been reached,” she says.

“People are drawn to beautiful pictures and online casino inspiring stories of people who, despite life unpleasantries (in this case a chronic illness) continue to get outside and do what they love. My goal is to create a stronger connection between the wilderness community and the Lyme community, because really they go hand in hand.”

Dog loving. Exploring the Alvord Desert with her trusted companion, Kona.

Dog loving. Exploring the Alvord Desert with her trusted companion, Kona.

O”Neill hopes that by finding and sharing stories of living with Lyme, a community can develop that will better enable her and More Than Lyme to hit the road and start planning some group adventures. “My hope is to eventually have More Than Lyme expeditions; planned trips every couple months to an amazing place that will be communally chosen by the Lyme community or those wanting to get involved to help spread awareness.”

Chloe currently resides in Bend, Oregon, where she relocated from Seattle a year ago to be closer to nature. To get in touch with her, follow on Instagram at @morethanlyme, or contact her through her website at MoreThanLyme.org.

 

Kristy Davison

Kristy Davison

Kristy founded Highline Magazine in 2008, motivated by the pursuit of stories that both inspire and make us laugh at our wild ways. Her background in fine arts and design, love for reading and research, and a life spent wandering in the Rockies combine to lead the vision for the magazine. She lives for hut trips, live music, walks in the woods, and kicking back on patios with friends in the summertime.

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