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Milton lends support to Lyme Disease victim - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Milton lends support to Lyme Disease victim

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MILTON, Vt. -

A Vermont woman is getting a helping hand from the community as she battles Lyme Disease.

Community members gathered Sunday to raise money for 22-year-old Carly Buswell. "This is my third fundraiser that we've had in the past couple of months, so I'm excited," Buswell said.

The Milton woman has been battling a severe case of Lyme Disease since 2012. She receives treatment out of state but hopes to someday be treated right here in Vermont.

"It's in my brain. It's in my joints. I have a lot of swelling -- my hips, my elbows, my hands, my feet, my knees," she said.

On Sunday 25 vendors came out to donate items to be auctioned off -- hoping to raise $500. Buswell's treatment can cost thousands of dollars.

"Each vendor donates items and auctions them off. An item that's $10 would be $.25 per a bid and that's the way it works," said Jean Parker, the event's organizer.

The quarter auction gives bidders a chance to pay up to 4 quarters to be entered into a raffle for an item. It's a bidding war that created some friendly competition. "People are getting aggressive because they want items. It's a lot of fun -- I'm really glad that I came out here," Buswell said.

It's been a journey Buswell says has made her stronger. But being misdiagnosed has made it an uphill battle. "I had seven negatives until I got three positives when I sent blood out, so you really need to stay on top of it and get a second opinion."

Since 2011, the Vermont Department of Health has received more than 500 reports of people with Lyme Disease. Those concerns surrounding inaccurate test results have made their way to lawmakers, who have shown unanimous support for the Lyme Disease bill. The bill removes the threat of license removal for Vermont doctors who treat patients with long term Lyme Disease, and changes requirements around how patients are tested.

"I've experienced how misdiagnosed patients end up. My spouse is severely afflicted with chronic Lyme and part of the issue has to do with the inaccuracy of the initial test, and so for me that language was very important," said Senator David Zuckerman (P-Chittenden County).

For many patients it's a step forward. For Buswell, a strong support system and being a self advocate has helped pull her through. "You've just got to push on. You gotta get through it. You can't let this little thing kill you. I have my whole life to live and I'm not gonna let it destroy me more so than it already has," she said.

Buswell says she has helped pull others through their journey with Lyme Disease and hopes her own battle will soon come to end. Until then, she is finding strength through support from the community and family.

Click here for information on donating to Carly Buswell's medical fund.

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