Nurse Gives Hope to Lyme Disease Sufferers

Established in 2014, the Elizabeth White Fund for Lyme makes unconventional treatment possible.

Elizabeth (Betsey) White. Photo courtesy of Lauralton Hall

Grants Made for Unconventional Treatment

A woman with a can-do happy spirit, Elizabeth (Betsey) White inherited her generosity of spirit, quick sense of humor, love of politics and socializing from her parents. Trained as a psychiatric nurse, Betsey worked at the Veterans Hospital for many years until Lyme disease made it impossible for her to continue.

After being diagnosed, Betsey met with her attorney, Ingi-Mai Loorand, and Foundation staff about ways she could help others suffering with the illness. Important to Betsey was diagnosis and treatment that goes beyond traditional short-term antibiotic therapy.

In 2014, Betsey left a bequest creating the Elizabeth White Fund for Lyme. Since its creation, the Fund has distributed nearly $50,000 to the Lyme Connection to support Connecticut residents dealing with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. When told of the grant's impact and reading the letters of thanks from patients, Ingi said, "Betsey would be so happy."

Alleviating the Financial Burden of Living with Lyme

Connecticut is home to the town from which Lyme disease derives its name. According to the CDC, each year approximately 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease. Connecticut and its neighboring Northeast states have high incidence rates of the disease. Diagnosis of Lyme can be difficult, often requiring many trips to many doctors. Fortunately the White Fund for Lyme was there to help Lisa, a patient at Lyme Connection.

"It is very difficult to worry about medical costs and deal with financial limitations when one is suffering from a baffling and frightening array of ever-changing symptoms," says Lisa. "It is so wonderful that there is financial assistance for those of us that need it to survive this horrifying disease. Without [it], it is impossible to have access to skilled and experienced Lyme specialists."

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Elizabeth White Fund for Lyme