PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine)-- As more Mainers are forced to deal with Lyme disease, a woman who has been suffering from it is trying to spread the word about prevention and treatment.
Standing, and sometimes sitting at a table in Portland’s Monument Square Tuesday morning, Adina Bercowicz said she has been dealing with neurological Lyme disease since 2015. Bercowicz contracted the disease from a tick bite in Florida.
She said the initial symptoms were extreme fatigue and joint pain but then developed into brain symptoms, including memory loss. She has been getting treatment but still has a variety of medical problems. Bercowicz and her husband moved to Maine last year and have started a foundation to help educate more people about Lyme, other tick-borne diseases, and treatment.
On Tuesday they were set up in Monument Square, giving out “bagels and bug spray”, according to a sign. They said the bug spray was to help homeless people prevent tick bites. The bagels were for everyone, as was the information handed out. She said they hope the advice on prevention and treatment of those diseases reaches both patients and doctors alike.
Bercowicz and her husband, Yan Zelener both said they believe physicians need a greater understanding of Lyme disease, especially for patients with chronic, long-lasting Lyme.
“But what surprised me most is there are actually doctors in Maine that do not test early for Lyme disease when clinical symptoms present. If a patient is coming in presenting with Lyme disease symptoms, we think they should test for it Earl,” she said.
The couple has created a foundation called “Lyme TV”, which they hope to use to produce a documentary film about the disease and TV ads as well. They said the plan one more “ Bagels and Bug Spray” event later this month, and are planning school visits for next year.
Bercowicz said more education is needed all around.
“Ticks can be deadly,” she said.