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A Hunter man has conquered a mammoth charity ride to help change the life of a seriously ill woman. Peter Hodgson today rolled into East Maitland, after cycling from Brisbane to raise money for Tahlia Smith who has Lyme Disease. He was met by a crowd of almost 3,000 people to congratulate him on his effort – which has seen an impressive $15,000 raised so far for the 21 year old’s treatment. As featured in NBN News this week, Tahlia needs to travel to a specialist clinic in Germany.

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It’s the insidious illness that’s not recognised in Australia – forcing sufferers of Lyme Disease to pay copious amounts of money for life saving help abroad. Hyperthermia treatment, offered in Germany, involves heating the body, killing the bacteria behind the disease. In the final part of this series, we show the lengths many are going to for the treatment, and how you can help. In a cruel sense of irony – Corrina Chenhall considers herself one of the lucky ones. She nearly lost the family home – after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment, including seeking help in Germany. But it’s been worth every cent. Unable to walk unassisted for five years, she’s back on her feet – literally. “The results..you know anyone who knows me anybody who has seen what I was and what i am now, …

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It’s the mystery illness costing the Australian economy tens of millions of dollars through misdiagnosis. Lyme Disease has the national medical community divided, and sufferers are looking to both tiers of government for answers. Lyme Disease and its existence in Australia is, to say the least – controversial. Dr Richard Schloeffel is one of few doctors who have openly voiced their view – that Lyme Disease can be contracted in Australia. “Clinically the disease is here, the evidence from overseas testing is positive I have patients responding very well to treatments for Lyme – you can’t just say because the test isn’t positive it doesn’t exist. It’s the testing that’s the problem it’s inadequate”. As a result, he says many sufferers are misdiagnosed, told they have Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neuron disease – when really, they have an illness that …

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Medical research shows what can be considered as evidence of the illness in the Hunter Valley, stemming as far back as the early 1980’s. Something that doesn’t sit well with sufferers fighting for recognition of their struggle. What Correna Chenhall has survived, can only be described as horrific. She lost five years of her life to Lyme Disease – after waking up one morning, paralysed. “the pain was just indescribable – you can’t begin. You can’t begin – to imagine the pain.” The mother of two says she contracted the disease from a tick bite in bushland opposite her home in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Dudley.   It’s a claim that’s becoming more prevalent across the Hunter, and goes against many doctor’s beliefs – that the disease does not exist within Australia. That’s despite medical research from as far …

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Lyme disease is a bacterial illness spread by tick bites. The effects are devastating. Tahlia had been accepted to study a diploma in musical theatre at Sydney’s Brent Street, as well as at Melbourne’s Film and Television Studio International. She’s made several trips to America to pursue her dream of becoming an actress- and it’s on one of those trips, it’s thought she may have been bitten by a tick. In the US, the bacteria and resulting disease are well proven – each year 300,000 Americans are diagnosed. But the journey to receiving a diagnosis here in Australia, let alone treatment, is a torturous one. Despite thousands of documented cases across the country, and scientific evidence of the bacteria’s existence in Australia stemming back as far as the 1950’s – the federal government says there’s no concrete proof. As a result, …

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For a child with autism, the world can be a confusing place. Tonight, as our series continues for Medical Research Week, we meet Max – he’s a one in 100, that’s the number of people estimated to have the lifelong developmental condition. There are many theories but many more questions, and now there’s a movement in Newcastle to bring together experts to create a centre for autism research.

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