Local Lyme disease advocate starts non-profit to help others - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Lyme disease advocate starts non-profit to help others

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KENNEWICK, WA - A wonderful local woman is doing everything she can to raise awareness of Lyme disease.

"Living with Lyme disease is not easy," said Salvadalena Morse Salvadalena, a Lyme disease advocate. "It's a day-to-day, up-and-down battle. Every day you wake up, you just don't know how you are going to feel. A lot of Lyme people, they may look great on the outside. A lot of people tell me they look great, but there are a lot of days I don't feel great inside."

After experiencing years of symptoms with no answers from her doctors, Salvadalena was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015.

"I finally had an answer after many, many years," said Salvadalena. "It was kind of bittersweet. I was like, 'wow great, I got a diagnosis, I'll finally know what is wrong with me,' but at the same time I was, 'okay, what now? What's Lyme disease? Where do I go from here? How do I treat Lyme disease?'"

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness and is transmitted primarily by ticks. The disease is very hard to diagnose, and timely detection is key for treatment to prevent complications and long-term effects.

To this day, Salvadalena does not know how she even got the disease in the first place.

"I'm not sure... I think I've had it for quite a long time since I was a kid. I've traveled the world, I've been a camper, I grew up on a farm so, I'm not certain how I actually got Lyme disease," Salvadalena admitted.

Salvadalena is a Lyme disease advocate and started a non-profit organization; Fighting Tigers. And her goals are simple: to bring hope, inspire, and love.

Fighting Tigers will have their second Lyme Walk Tri-Cities this Thursday and it starts at 10 a.m. at Columbia Park. To find out more about the event, visit the website fightingtiger.org/lyme-awareness-walk.

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