First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 PM on 4/28, issued at 10:03 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Lyme disease ruins local woman's life

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 7/25/2013 8:11 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- It all started with a tick bite back in 2000.

"Went to put my hair in a ponytail and I feel like, right here on my head. I was like what is that? So, I went downstairs and I looked in the mirror and sure enough, there was a tick and it was attached right here," Anne Gaucher explained.

Gaucher's life went downhill from there. She went from a health care professional, competitve ballroom dancer and figure skater to a frail patient.
She contracted viral meningitis in 2005, then again in 2007.

"I said there's something wrong here. I've got to find out why I keep getting so sick so often, so I started seeing doctors to find out what was wrong with me," she continued.

Turns out, that tick gave her Lyme disease, which for her, is now chronic.
Symptoms include headaches, extreme fatigue, muscle pain and nerve problems.

"For years, people have been told Lyme disease either doesn't exist here or is very rare. And that's not true based on our research findings," said Kerry Clark, UNF professor.

Gaucher takes between 50 and 60 pills a day and hardly has the strength to get out of bed. She doesn't know what the future holds, but encourages everyone to pay attention to their bodies and ask doctors about the disease if they have symptoms.

"It's very, very serious and that's what needs to be known and needs to be discussed."

There's a Northeast Florida Lyme Association group that meets every third Thursday of the month.

Gaucher pays between $30,000 and $50,000 out of pocket each year for her disease.
If you’d like to donate or follow her journey, you can visit her blog here.
7 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Dolores - 8/6/2013 12:32 AM
0 Votes
Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2003 Jul-Aug;116(7-8):306-11. [Seroepidemiological studies of zoonotic infections in hunters in southeastern Austria--prevalences, risk factors, and preventive methods]. [Article in German] Deutz A, Fuchs K, Schuller W, Nowotny N, Auer H, Aspöck H, Stünzner D, Kerbl U, Klement C, Köfer J. Source Fachabteilung 8C-Veterinärwesen, Universität Wien. Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalences to zoonotic pathogens in hunters, to propose preventive measures and to obtain more information about the occurrence of zoonotic pathogens in local wild animal populations. From 146 male and 3 female hunters originating from the south-eastern Austrian federal states of Styria and Burgenland blood samples were taken and anamnestic data were obtained using a questionnaire. The serological investigations included the following viral, bacterial and parasitic zoonotic agents or zoonoses, respectively (antibody-seroprevalences in brackets): encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV, 15%), Puumala-Hantavirus (10%), Newcastle Disease virus (NDV, 4%), borreliosis (IgG 42%, IgM 7%), brucellosis (1%), chlamydiosis (3%), ehrlichiosis (IgG 15%, IgM 3%), leptospirosis (10%), tularaemia (3%), Q fever (0%), Echinococcus multilocularis/E. granulosus (5%/11%), toxocariasis (17%). Out of a control group of 50 persons (urban population, no hunters) only one person was found to be seropositive for Toxocara canis and NDV and four for EMCV, all other results were negative in the control group. The high seroprevalences especially to Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Ehrlichia spp., Leptospira interrogans, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, encephalomyocarditis virus and Puumala virus demonstrate that hunters are particularly exposed to zoonotic pathogens. It should also be noted that one hunter was seropositive for Brucella abortus and five exhibited antibodies to Francisella tularensis. In these cases, as well as

Dolores - 8/6/2013 12:31 AM
0 Votes
Metagenomic Profile of the Bacterial Communities Associated with Ixodes ricinus Ticks. Carpi G, Cagnacci F, Wittekindt NE, Zhao F, Qi J, Tomsho LP, Drautz DI, Rizzoli A, Schuster SC PLoS ONE 2011 10; 6 (10) Assessment of the microbial diversity residing in arthropod vectors of medical importance is crucial for monitoring endemic infections, for surveillance of newly emerging zoonotic pathogens, and for unraveling the associated bacteria within its host. The tick Ixodes ricinus is recognized as the primary European vector of disease-causing bacteria in humans. Despite I. ricinus being of great public health relevance, its microbial communities remain largely unexplored to date. Here we evaluate the pathogen-load and the microbiome in single adult I. ricinus by using 454- and Illumina-based metagenomic approaches. Genomic DNA-derived sequences were taxonomically profiled using a computational approach based on the BWA algorithm, allowing for the identification of known tick-borne pathogens at the strain level and the putative tick core microbiome. Additionally, we assessed and compared the bacterial taxonomic profile in nymphal and adult I. ricinus pools collected from two disti nct geographic regions in Northern Italy by means of V6-16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing and community based ecological analysis. A total of 108 genera belonging to representatives of all bacterial phyla were detected and a rapid qualitative assessment for pathogenic bacteria, such as Borrelia, Rickettsia and Candidatus Neoehrlichia, and for other bacteria with mutualistic relationship or undetermined function, such as Wolbachia and Rickettsiella, was possible. Interestingly, the ecological analysis revealed that the bacterial community structure differed between the examined geographic regions and tick life stages. This finding suggests that the environmental context (abiotic and biotic factors) and host-selection behaviors affect their microbiome. Our data provide the most

Dolores - 8/5/2013 11:57 PM
0 Votes
Disease precautions for hunters PDF file View PDF version This paper is intended to be a general guide about diseases that hunters and their hunting dogs may encounter. Links to additional information have been provided where appropriate. Hunters should always consult their physician if they are concerned they have been exposed to a disease or are showing symptoms of illness. If there are any concerns that your hunting dog or any other companion animal may have contracted any of these diseases, please contact your veterinarian. Introduction Protecting Hunters from Risk: Some Common Sense Guidelines Diseases •Anaplasmosis •Avian Influenza •Babesiosis •Brucellosis •Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter jejuni) •Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) •Cryptosporidiosis •Deer Parapoxvirus •Hydatid Tapeworms (Echinococcosis) •Ehrlichiosis •Equine Encephalitis Viruses •Escherichia coli Infection (E. coli) •Giardiasis •Hantavirus •Leptospirosis •Lyme Disease (Lyme borreliosis) •Plague •Q fever •Rabies •Raccoon Roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) •Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (tick-borne typhus fever) and other spotted fevers •Salmonellosis (Salmonella species) •Sarcoptic mange •Toxoplasmosis •Trichinellosis (trichinosis) •Tuberculosis •Tularemia •West Nile Virus •Specific Risks Associated with International Hunting •Chikungunya •Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever •Rift Valley Fever virus All of these pathogens are not eradicated with 14 days of doxycycline as the infectious disease society physicians would have you believe.

Dolores - 8/5/2013 11:12 AM
0 Votes
I am here in Florida and live north of Tampa and lyme and co infections have devastated my family. I can be reached at 813-235-9542 if you suspect that you have lyme disease. I do not want to see another person experience what we have gone through. Lyme is a complex set of bacterial, viral, protozoal and other parasitical infections. 108 bacteria were found in ticks in Italy. The infectious disease society has issued guidelines for the treatment of lyme disease and they are ignoring the myriad of pathogens and the chronicity of many of them. These guidelines should be used to line the animal cages at the NIH, NIAID and CDC. The cover up of the severity of tick borne pathogens is one of the largest crimes against humanity. I, for one would like to see the infectious disease society dismantled and sued for their willful misinformation disseminated on tick borne pathogens.

parrsnips - 7/29/2013 11:02 PM
0 Votes
Lyme Disease is found in EVERY state, do not believe the IDSA! They are full of it! I contravted Lyme in Southern California! Go to or for accurate info.

NJLymeMom - 7/29/2013 3:15 PM
0 Votes
Thank you for this story. My life has also been ruined by Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Please see our family's page at to learn more.

Realchange - 7/26/2013 3:57 AM
1 Vote
Read somewhere about the disease once when doing reaserch into my own problems that using antibiotic therapy combined with a diving pressure chamber can sometimes completely cure the person. Maybe she should try it.
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.