HYDE PARK, Vt. (WCAX) - Corrina Thurston is a color pencil artist, whom we first met during our Made in Vermont series in 2016. She learned how to draw with the color pencils in 2010 while she was struggling for two years with a then- unknown illness. Migraine headaches and chronic pain forced Thurston to drop out of college in 2010, during her freshman year.
"From year one, I was asking doctors if it was Lyme Disease, because I came with this list of 19 symptoms that matched up and they kept telling me that I was reading too much into it," Thurston said.
Four year ago, Thurston was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease. However, she was also diagnosed with Bartonella, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and two types of pneumonia.
"Just having the diagnosis was huge," Corrina's mother, Sandy Thurston, said. "To come from there to where she is now and she's still not fully recovered, has been amazing to watch, but it has been an extremely difficult journey."
According to the Vermont Department of Health, there were a little more than 500 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease reported to the state in 2017, but it also says there were more than 600 probable cases.
That's the highest number of probable cases since they were first counted nine years ago.
Thurston is currently working out of her new home in Hyde Park. She's progressing slowly, but treatment is helping her reach new accomplishments. She has written two books and is regularly giving talks to other artists.
"She has such a compelling story. It gives you hope," Judy Paxman of the Swanton Arts Council said. "She has persevered and she still continues to produce great art and it's unique and it's her."
Recently, Thurston was named to Vermont Business Magazine's 40 under 40 list.
"To win that award, I was almost more excited for the chronic illness community and the artist community then I was for myself," Thurston said.
Thurston will have an art reception and double book launch party on Wednesday, December 5th at the New Moon Café in Burlington from 4-6 p.m..