For years, Sophy Merszei, Molecular Biologist, Cosmetic Chemist and founder of NovaLash eyelash extensions, has been suffering with Lyme Disease and its attendant disorders (**see photos below). Now she is putting the pain aside, and spreading awareness about a little understood disease that affects millions by sharing her story and taking part in the 2015 Lyme Disease Challenge.
“You may know me as the person who introduced eyelash extensions to the world, but you might not know that I have been battling Lyme Disease, Chronic Erlichiosis and Babesiosis for 30 years,” says Merszei. “I didn't get tested early, as a child, because even the best doctors didn't have the right information back then. Still today, most doctors, including my husband, are being taught outdated information on Lyme Disease.
“Yolanda Foster from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been such an inspiration to me by sharing sick photos of herself alongside photos of herself when she is feeling healthy. She has inspired me to come out of my little ‘Lyme Closet’ and share photos of myself that I was previously embarrassed and ashamed of. If I can help one child get diagnosed early, it's well worth sharing my ugly picture"
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Merszei and NovaLash encourage their Lashionistas to take and share a “Sourpuss Selfie”—suck on a slice of lime, make a face, snap a photo or video— and post to social platforms (#LymeDiseaseChallenge, #NovaLashtakesabiteoutofLyme) along with a fact about Lyme Disease. Now go tag and challenge a friend. NovaLash will, in turn, make a charitable donation and send a free pot of lashes to Certified Stylists with their next order. Facts on Lyme Disease can be found at http://lymediseasechallenge.org/join-lyme-disease-challenge/.
“This diseases is caused by insect bites, everyone is susceptible and 300,000 new cases of Lyme Disease are reported in the US each year, alone, according to the Center for Disease Control,” says Merszei. “It is treatable if caught early but if left undetected, it is debilitating and extremely painful.”
(BEFORE) Living with Lymes: “Here I am feeling pretty healthy and happy. My joint pain level was probably only a 2 out of 10 in this picture. It's easier to manage and put the pain out of your mind when it's at a level lower than a 5 out of 10. Here, I'm presenting an award to a NovaLash extensionist.”
(AFTER) “Here I am while sick. I'm getting my IV treatment for Lyme Disease. I take additional antibiotics to treat the Erlichiosis and Babesiosis which are worse for me than the actual Lyme. This picture was taken after the disease caused me to lose almost 30 pounds.”
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