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Gia Gasparino Bio

It has taken a long time for Gia Gasparino to write about her struggle with Lyme Disease.

The tale is long with many turns and accounts of personal hardship. Yet, Gasparino decided to consolidate her story and write about what she thought would help others the most.

Gia Gasparino is passionate about Lyme disease awareness because she knows it can happen to anyone/ She also understands that Lyme disease is also a growing problem in the United States. Gasparino’s goal is to educate others on Lyme disease prevention, awareness, and treatment so that they do not have to experience or battle the crippling effects she has experienced over the years.

As Gasparino notes, “You never really know how quickly your life can change until it does.”

A Sudden Beginning, Multiple Misdiagnoses

For Gasparino, her world fell to pieces nearly overnight, not long after moving to Connecticut and going for a hike with her dog.

At the time, Gasparino had no clue how rampant Lyme disease was or how devastating it could be. But within days, her health started to rapidly decline. It began with horrible flu-like symptoms, night sweats, memory loss, and debilitating fatigue. She was initially told it was a virus and that it would pass. However, weeks and months passed, and as more symptoms piled up, so did the torrent of misdiagnoses.

Gia Gasparino was chronically ill, hit with symptom after symptom with no answer or help from the medical community.

A Year Too Late...

After almost a year of suffering, Gasparino was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease and was treated with three weeks of doxycycline. But at this stage of the illness, such treatment was like putting fifty cents of gas in your car when you’re running on empty and did little to improve her situation.

At the time, Gasparino (as well the doctor) had no idea that when you didn’t treat the disease thoroughly, long enough, or with a much higher dose of antibiotics, you are in serious danger of developing Chronic Lyme disease. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to Gasparino.

To Make Matters Worse...

It wasn’t long before Gasparino discovered her dog, best friend, and loved one, Bear Bear, had also contracted Lyme disease, likely during the same day of their hike. At first, Gasparino had been too sick to even realize how sick Bear Bear had become.

When Gasparino took him for testing, his Lyme test was positive, and at a very high positive titer. Gia Gasparino explained to the veterinarian that her beloved Bear Bear had likely contracted the disease at the same time she did.

Like Gasparino, Bear Bear was treated only with three weeks of doxycycline, which did nothing to alleviate his condition. He needed a much longer course of antibiotics. Gasparino learned this the hard way, for both of us.

Bear Bear went from walking three miles a day, to barely walking a few feet before needing to rest. His joints were hurting so much, he was unable to jump up on the bed. Both Gasparino and Bear Bear suddenly began to struggle with low thyroid issues, and each started taking thyroid medication to mitigate the problem.

At just three years old, Bear Bear’s health was rapidly declining, inspiring Gasparino to research and dig even deeper into the problem.

Answers Were Hard to Come By

Despite living in Connecticut, one of the most Lyme prevalent areas in the country, Gia Gasparino was still unable to get answers, no matter how many specialists she talked to. In fact, her doctors were not helpful at all. This was her new normal.

Seeking answers and advocating for myself and my dog quickly became her life’s mission.

After more than a year of research, Gasparino came across what is called a “Lyme-Literate” doctor. It wasn’t until this crucial point that she was properly diagnosed with three tick-borne illnesses, each of which required a different type of antibiotic. Upon this discovery, Gasparino was immediately started on intravenous antibiotics, which were administered for over a year (including a myriad of vitamins and natural treatments). As it turned out, this treatment saved Gasparino’s life.

Treatment for Bear Bear

After a prolonged illness, Gasparino was able to get Bear Bear semi-healthy, a state lasting for several years. While it wasn’t easy, Gasparino found her best friend a knowledgeable veterinarian, someone who understood Lyme disease and had the expertise to treat him properly.

But even with the new treatment, Bear Bear never regained complete health. He was never quite the same, and never was Gasparino. Bear Bear passed away at just six years old.

Gasparino had tried so hard for Bear Bear, and was heartbroken by her loss. For a while, Gasparino felt as though she didn’t want to continue life without him. She felt like Bear Bear was the one keeping her alive. She continues to miss him each and every day.

An Ongoing Struggle

Today, over eight years since experiencing the first signs of illness, Gia Gasparino continues to fight her battle with the disease. Each day, Gasparino deals with a list of symptoms, ranging from fatigue, body pain, and headaches to a weakened immune system.

As she knows, this battle is the norm for those with Chronic Lyme.

Because she appears healthy on the outside, Gasparino has to deal with people who don’t understand what she goes through. For her, this can be extremely frustrating and disheartening.

Helping Others

Since her diagnosis, Gasparino has developed a passion for helping others, particularly when it comes to this very misunderstood and misdiagnosed disease. Gasparino isn’t here to cure or diagnose, but to help and support. As she knows, seeking answers and advocating for ourselves, our loved ones, and others are so important. Knowledge is power, especially when something is driving down your health, and you are getting no answers.

If your Lyme disease test results are negative, but your symptoms say otherwise, Gasparino’s best advice is to trust your instincts and your body. If you are being treated for Lyme disease or you know someone who is - and they are not getting better - trust your instincts, research, and move quickly with a new doctor or plan.

For questions on Lyme disease, contact Gia Gasparino at any time at Giagasparino@gmail.com.

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