A WELL-KNOWN local woman who works in a well-known local cafe has been overwhelmed by the support Shoalhaven residents have offered to help send her sister to Germany for potentially lifesaving treatment.
Melanie Lattanzio’s sister, Lisa Tubnor, has battled Lyme disease since 2011.
Lyme disease, the number one tick-borne illness in the world, is a debilitating condition that causes a list of symptoms and if left untreated can be fatal.
Symptoms can include extreme fatigue and swollen glands, slurred speech and impaired movement.
It is often mistaken for motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.
Mrs Lattanzio, who works at Zest Café, and her mother Karenne have started raising funds to send their sister and daughter to Germany.
The German treatment involves a two-week detox and hypothermia treatment which costs more than $15,000.
Only four days into the fund-raising effort this community had donated $3500.
“People are so amazing. The local generosity has been incredible,” Mrs Lattanzio said.
“I have had people come into the cafe and hand me $200. And I know some of these people who are donating really can’t afford it.
“It hurts your heart.
“To help raise money there is a jar on the counter at Zest. Mum, Dad and I are shaving our heads, hosting an auction, we have an online pledge page and seven of my friends and I are dressing up in green tutus to enter the Miss Muddy fun run in Sydney this weekend,” she said.
Zest owner Dave Baker said he, too, was impressed by the number of people who have supported the fund-raiser.
“People are really getting behind this. We are all hoping the support continues,” he said.
To learn more about Mrs Tubnor’s condition or to donate, pop into Zest Cafe, phone Mel on 0423 124 403 or visit peoplepledge.com.au /2014/lisa-tubnor/.
For more information about Lyme disease and local fund-raising efforts go to facebook.com/groups/Lymeandco/