Local woman with Lyme Disease fights for her health and awarenes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local woman with Lyme Disease fights for her health and awareness

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KENNEWICK, WA - If you have heard of Lyme Disease you probably know it can have something to do with ticks. However, that's all many people know and one local woman is on a mission to change that. Tavia Morse-Salvadalena knows about Lyme Disease all too well - because she has it.

"I'm not certain when I got Lyme Disease. I'm guessing 10 or 12 years ago," said Tavia, who had been living in California at the time. She said when she moved home she got sick with flu-like symptoms. Looking back, she thinks maybe that's when she contracted the disease but she really doesn't know.

"I grew up on a farm, I also grew up camping. I have traveled the world. A lot of people say, well you're not from the east coast that's kind of weird because it's predominantly east coast. But I've traveled," said Tavia.

She has what doctors call Chronic Lyme Disease. She wasn't correctly diagnosed for years - until about a year and a half ago.

"I have more better days than bad days than bad days. I'm going through the process of detoxification of the bacteria. the bacteria goes everywhere in your body. It can attack your organs, your bones, your stomach, your liver, everything," said Tavia.

She is now on the road to remission but it's been a tough road. She underwent an intensive treatment in Germany and now goes to Seattle once a month to visit a specialist. 

Tavia also started a non-profit, a website (www.daysofmylyme.com) and has met several other local people who either have Lyme Disease or know someone who does.

"It's awesome knowing that I'm not the only one either, that is struggling here in eastern Washington. It is more people than you think there are," said Tavia.

She's not only fighting for her health now, Tavia is fighting for awareness, too.

"My goal initially was to just share my story. If I could help just one person not go through what I've gone through then my job here on earth is done. I feel like I've impacted a lot more than that lately and I just want to pay it forward," said Tavia.

She organized a 1.8 miles walk on Saturday, May 6. It's the inaugural Lyme Disease Awareness Walk in Tri-Cities and coincides with a similar event in Washington, D.C.

The local walk is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday. Dogs and strollers are welcome. The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for kids. For more information CLICK HERE.