Long-distance quest for Lyme disease victim

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Emma suffered with the disease for possibly ten years before she was diagnosed © Facebook/ Emma Dolan Horlock

Emma suffered with the disease for possibly 10 years before she was diagnosed © Facebook/ Emma Dolan Horlock

A community has rallied together to raise money for a Sefton woman struck down by Lyme disease.

Health workers looking after Emma Horlock say she was misdiagnosed by the NHS twice before travelling to Germany and discovering she had the potentially brain-damaging disease.

Now, her carers at Mears Group are attempting to travel the equivalent distance from Liverpool to Washington DC – 3,522 miles – in order to raise £60,000. The money will go towards her treatment in the US capital, where she will be travelling to later this year.

Helen Richards, manager at Mears Group, told JMU Journalism: “We pride ourselves on going the extra mile, and for Emma we will be going the extra 3,522. Emma struck a note with everyone and the ideal outcome is that she will no longer need our care.”

Emma is forced to lay in bed for up to 22 hours a day after suffering unknowingly with the disease for possibly 10 years. Lyme disease is spread by infected ticks and is usually more common in the States, but there are still between 2,000 and 3,000 new confirmed cases in England and Wales every year.

On the weekend beginning March 18th, family, friends and care workers of Emma will gather at the south Liverpool-based care facility to run, cycle and walk the miles required.

Toni Mason, who is one of Emma’s care workers, told JMU Journalism: “She’s so lovely. She’s just a normal woman and she doesn’t deserve it. This is about Emma getting what she needs- she’ll never be 100% again, but she just wants a bit of normality back in her life.”

The fundraising event is the final push to get the miles needed as employees at Mears Care have been notching up steps using pedometers throughout their working day. A two-year-old son of a co-worker will also be cycling around Sefton Park lake as his contribution to the cause.

Everyone is invited to come along and do their bit to help get Emma the money she needs to travel to Washington DC. More information can be found by emailing toni.mason@mearsgroup.co.uk.

About Hannah Rogers, JMU Journalism