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February 2, 2011
Film on Lyme disease, panel of doctors to come to Battle Ground Cinema
Battle Ground, Washington
Battle Ground resident Miguel Perez-Lizano has been searching for some relief for Lyme disease, spread through
the bite of a tick, for more than 10 years – a disease he says doctors often misdiagnose or refuse to even consider.
"There is no question that Lyme disease is on the West Coast, including Washington and British Columbia," Perez-Lizano said. "Studies in California show tick infection rates on par with the highest in the Northeast U.S.
where Lyme disease is recognized. Unfortunately, there are no such studies for Washington. The state maintains
that Lyme disease is rare in Washington, but what is rare are doctors who have demonstrated expertise in
diagnosis and treatment. The number of reported cases in Washington is highly misleading."
In an effort to better inform people in Washington State and everywhere of the complications of Lyme disease, the Southwest Washington Lyme Network will bring the film Under Our Skin to Battle Ground Cinema for a Sat., Feb. 5, 9:30 a.m. showing. The film, directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson of California, follows the stories of patients and physicians fighting for their lives and livelihoods. Under Our Skin also discusses the fact that each year, thousands of people with Lyme disease go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told the symptoms are "all in their head."
In his director’s statement, Wilson discusses how his journey into the world of Lyme disease started by accident when a friend of his was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Wilson said he was shocked to discover how debilitating Lyme disease actually was. After four years of research and production, and more than 375 hours of footage,
Wilson said a chilling tale of microbes, medicine and money was discovered.
"I want to show the horror of any illness and an ill system that too long has been ignored," Wilson said in his statement. "But I also want to show the human and natural beauty right next to it. Sometimes indistinguishable,
the beauty and horror are intertwined."
As a part of the Feb. 5 showing, a panel of local doctors will be present to lead a discussion after the film. Sarah Elliott, one of the facilitators of the screening, said three doctors are confirmed for the panel. Susan McCarthy is
an acupuncturist at Spirit of Health Wellness Clinic in Vancouver, Stacey Raffety is a naturopathic doctor at
Tigard Holistic Health Clinic and Dee Keller is a naturopathic doctor in Longview. All three doctors are advocates
for Lyme disease awareness.
Elliott said they expect other physicians to attend who aren’t necessarily part of the panel. The panel discussion
will take place after the film is shown and will be held in the old Battle Ground City Grill facility.
Perez-Lizano said he hopes the film will bring greater awareness to the public and regional doctors so that Lyme disease will be considered as a possible diagnosis for conditions that mimic Lyme disease, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and many more.
There is no cost to attend the showing of the film, and there are 165 seats available in the theater. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All of the organizers of the event, including Elliot, have been diagnosed with Lyme disease and find it very important that others with Lyme disease have the support from the community
that they need.
"In the past, many of us in Clark County have had to travel to other states, California in particular, for competent diagnosis and treatment," Perez-Lizano said. "There are now some doctors in the northwest region who are familiar with the complexities of tick-borne diseases, but a greater awareness is still needed for this disease."
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