Wisconsin Lyme Network is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness, provide education and support, and promote research for vector-borne illnesses to the patients, medical community and the general population in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Lyme Network Board Members
Sherry Sievewright – President
After my diagnosis 4 years ago I realized I had been dealing with Lyme disease for over 30 years. At its worst I was bed bound and in a wheelchair, dealing with pain that I had never experienced in my life, brain fog, sleeping nearly 18 hours a day and unable to do all that was needed for my family. Over the last 30 years I have experienced SVT’s, severe pain in my legs, swollen joints, chronic fatigue, migraines, and various other medical disabilities. Through education, prayer and a positive attitude I have been able to regain most of what I had lost. Although I am still in treatment, I am feeling that I need to help in the Lyme community supporting education, options, research and doctor awareness.
I decided in my fight to make sure that my trial was not wasted and that if I became able, I would help others in their battle toward healing. This is why I am a part of the Wisconsin Lyme Network.
It is with great hope that we will become a state who takes the battle against Lyme disease seriously, providing awareness throughout communities and education to doctors so treatment is not difficult for patients.
Janella VanRens – Vice President
A few years ago, I learned that a dear friend and her son had contracted Lyme Disease while living in Wisconsin. While listening as she shared more about her experiences with the disease, and through opportunities to speak with friends and acquaintances in the community, it became apparent that this was quickly becoming a serious problem in Wisconsin. In addition, educational and medical resources were limited and in some areas almost non-existent.
As a member of the board at WLN, my desire is to work alongside other board members to help increase awareness throughout Wisconsin, provide additional resources and support to those in the Lyme and medical communities and to help Wisconsin become a leader in the national Lyme spotlight.
Molly Gardner – Treasurer
Molly Gardner was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in October of 2008 by the CDC. In mid-September she was in Marinette, Wisconsin, picking tomatoes to use for canning. Her symptoms began later that week with a low grade fever, chills, body aches and joint pain. It took an entire month after these symptoms began for her to receive a diagnosis. She was bedridden and sustained a fever between 101 -103 degrees all month long. Her body was shutting down with the inability to move her neck, walk, or even eat. Even with numerous blood draws at the ER, nothing showed up. Frustrated with the lack of answers, she began searching out her symptoms online and kept coming across the term Lyme disease. Although she didn’t have a rash and couldn’t see any evidence of a tick bite, she called her doctor and asked for a Lyme Disease test.The test came back positive and Molly was admitted to the hospital to begin a 21-day dose of IV Antibiotic Therapy. After this initial treatment, she was told by her CDC specialist that she was cured, however this proved to be untrue as her symptoms stated to return a year later.
As a result of her own diagnosis and struggle, Molly desires to inform those who are suffering with a similar host of symptoms to find out if the root of their suffering could possibly be Lyme Disease. Many people with these symptoms put it off as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic joint pain, neurological issues, brain fog, heart problems or other diseases, resulting in pharmaceutical treatment that covers up the symptoms and fails to heal the actual root cause of their pain. Her hope as a board member of the WI Lyme Network is to encourage any individual who is suffering needlessly and help them search for an alternate route to find healing and restoration.
Katherine Wagenknecht – Secretary
Erica Zentner – Board Member
I am Erica Zentner from Appleton Wisconsin. Was misdiagnosed for many years. I started treatment for Lyme in 2012. The change in my life has been amazing. I hope to see changes in our main stream medicine. More awareness and protocols that work. My focus is in studying vector born illnesses. One day developing test and possible cures. As a member of the board I bring awareness to the public as well as help raise funds for education of Lyme disease and confections.