To the Editor:
I am a frequent Island visitor. This letter is to ask for help and share a very sad story. My 32-year-old married daughter, Renee Bassett, is going through a very, very hard time right now, both physically and emotionally, due to Lyme disease that apparently was dormant in her system for a few months and re-emerged after the trauma of a miscarriage (You can read the story on her GoFundMe page, gofundme.com/reneebassett).
In summary, we and the medical community traced the infection back to our June 2013 family vacation on the Vineyard. We were staying up-Island in Chilmark, and encountered quite a few ticks around the home we rented. Unfortunately, Renee discovered she had a tick embedded in her abdomen while preparing to take an afternoon shower. Her husband removed the tick with tweezers and thought that he had removed it entirely. They did not seek treatment or have the tick tested, which obviously in hindsight was a mistake.
Now to the present: Renee has a long journey ahead of her to get better and hopefully return to a normal life. She has been tested and is working with a top Lyme disease facility in Arizona (details are on the webpage), but it is extremely costly, far beyond the means of my daughter and her husband, a fifth-grade schoolteacher. Renee had to quit her job as a successful art director over a year ago due to the mental stress, anguish, and debilitating damage this infection has done to her central nervous system.
I’m reaching out to anyone who can help promote/facilitate access to Renee’s page for possible donations, or just kind and encouraging words to help her. I also urge visitors and residents to take the correct precautionary steps when encountering ticks on the Vineyard and anywhere else. God bless.