Carrie Perry and daughter Samantha love the outdoors.
“It’s always a good day to take a few runs,” Carrie said, looking at the ski slopes of Roundtop Mountain Resort.
“I’ve enjoyed this sport every winter since I could walk,” Samantha said as she rode the ski lift.
Four years ago, Samantha began an uphill battle when she was told she could no longer participate in her sport. She was overcome with joint pain, brain fog, and fatigue.
“I couldn’t walk anywhere, had to drive to my classes,” she said. “I wasn’t a functioning college student or human being.”
She got so sick she had to withdraw from Penn State University.
“It was really tough, one of the saddest times of my life,” Samantha Perry said. “I spent 80 percent of my day in bed, I didn’t have friends anymore; they were all off at school doing great things.”
No one could tell the Perry family what was wrong.
“I’m the kind of person when you put me in that kind of corner, I’m going to come out swinging,” Carrie Perry said. “So, the mama bear came alive.”
They reached the peak. The diagnosis was Lyme disease.
“I never saw a tick,” Samantha Perry said. “I never saw a rash.”
“You need to be your own advocate because so many doctors still don’t understand,” Carrie Perry said.
Recovering took months and health care and came at a cost.
“Insurance will only cover 30 days of an antibiotic right now in the state of Pennsylvania,” Carrie Perry said. “$24,000: I’m not afraid to say that’s what we spent in 2017 to get Samatha well, and that’s out of pocket.”
The Perry family last year started the nonprofit Sam’s Spoons. Its goal is to raise money to help other people who need treatment for Lyme disease. Ride Out Lyme is their first fundraiser.
“Even though I went through this horrible thing, I’m not going to be afraid of life,” Samantha Perry said. ‘”I’m going to celebrate it.”
The Ride out Lyme ski and snowboarding fundraiser is Feb. 10 at Roundtop Mountain Resort.