Fatigue and horrible joint pain had transformed her life into a difficult struggle. Even when she was able to play soccer for Freedom High, Courtney would sometimes pass out. She developed a heart arrhythmia, several neurological deficits and debilitating arthritis.
That finally led to a definitive diagnosis — Courtney had Advanced Neurological Lyme disease, likely the result of a tick bite she was treated for in 2008.
Although she wasn’t diagnosed with Lyme disease at the time of the bite — never developing the bulls-eye rash that is often the first symptom of the disease — she has suffered with the consequences and a series of setbacks ever since.
While there is no actual cure for the disease, and very few effective treatments, after years of searching, Katie Krysa thinks…hopes…she has found the answer.
But mostly, for the first time in a while, Katie says she has found hope.
On Saturday, June 23, at noon, at the Hunter’s Green Country Club Sports Club, friends of Katie will host “A Twist of Lyme” tennis social to raise money for Courtney’s continued treatment.
Katie, a Tampa Palms resident who plays league tennis with teams based out of West Meadows, is not surprised the New Tampa tennis community is stepping forward to help cover the costs of Courtney’s treatments. Katie says she already has exhausted her bank account by spending $20,000 for six weeks of the treatment; another 18-24 weeks is likely needed.
“I’ve relied on many of my tennis friends during this entire process,” she says. “They have been so great.”
A minimum $30 donation is requested to be part of the social, which also will have silent auctions and raffles.
The first 50 people to sign up will receive a tennis towel, and everyone who plays gets lunch, two margaritas and an afternoon of tennis and music, provided by D.J. Robby Rob.
Once a vibrant, energetic teenager, her mother says Lyme disease has ravaged Courtney’s body, penetrating her nervous system and damaging her kidneys. Courtney missed most of her senior year at Freedom, and couldn’t attend graduation ceremonies.
Katie says she has spent over $100,000 visiting clinics in Cleveland and Nashville, as well as visiting dozens of specialists, with every potential solution, most of them not covered by insurance, leading to a dead end.
Ready to give up, Katie says she discovered David Minkoff, M.D., an alternative medicine specialist, at the LifeWorks Wellness Center in Clearwater.
LifeWorks specializes in treating chronic illnesses, and Katie says she has been encouraged by the early results.
Courtney, who has spent much of the past few years bed-ridden and in a wheelchair, can today walk 25 feet without assistance, and has displayed cognitive improvements.
“I didn’t know where to go anymore before I found this treatment,” Katie says. “I didn’t have a lot of hope. I just thought I was going to have to watch her slowly get worse.”
After years of disappointment, Katie is optimistic her last hope can help restore to Courtney some of the quality of life she once enjoyed.
To read more about Courtney’s story and register for the A Twist of Lyme tennis social, visit HopeRisingInc.org. The HGCC Sports Club is located at 18050 Hunter’s Oak Ct.