About us

Lyme Disease Action is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers. We rely entirely on donations and receive no funding from commercial sources. The information we provide is impartial, evidence based and we are accredited to NHS England’s Information Standard.

The charitable aims of LDA are:

The relief of persons suffering from Lyme Disease, other Borrelioses and associated diseases in particular but not exclusively by:

  • Raising awareness of the public at large including conferences, information and support
  • Scientific and medical education and research in topics related to Lyme disease, other Borrelioses and associated diseases provided the useful results of such research are published.

You can see our annual reports at the charity commission website by entering our name or charity number in the search box.

Introducing the trustees

We are a group of people affected by Lyme disease. Most of us are scientists and we are all volunteers, fitting LDA activities around our daily lives.

Stella Huyshe-Shires, Chair

Stella started her professional life as a plant pathologist, before undertaking a research fellowship with IBM into the use of databases in plant research and moving into computing. She contracted Lyme disease in 1999 while working in her garden in Devon: her husband noticing a large erythema migrans on her back. She was diagnosed 3 years later following a positive blood test and lumbar puncture. Treatment brought temporary relief and she was eventually retired from her IT job in the NHS on the grounds of ill health.

Gardening, music, old houses, and old wines are her main interests and her husband shares all of them except the gardening. She joined LDA in 2007 and became chair in 2009.

 

Gail Lowe

Gail lives in Gloucestershire and runs her family, grandchildren, church events and everything else with unfailing humour despite still suffering the effects of Lyme disease. Gail contracted Lyme disease in September 1996 having been bitten whilst playing golf. Within 2 weeks of the bite she could no longer play 36 holes of golf in a day in fact could hardly walk. It took many years of private research to establish the real cause of her sudden debilitation and eventually get some treatment.

Gail joined LDA in 2005 and has played a major role in both the conference organisation and the shop. She runs the latter almost single handed, sending tick lifters out across the country.

 

Sandra Pearson, Medical Director

Sandra PearsonSandra qualified in medicine in 1981 (GMC registration 3114973) and trained in psychiatry whilst raising a family. She became an NHS Consultant in Adult Psychiatry in 2002 and moved to Devon with her partner Rob in 2007. She did not realise the significance of the bull’s eye rash on Rob’s leg in the summer of 2008. This was diagnosed as ringworm and after several months of Rob suffering increasing pain and neurological symptoms, she Googled the rash. A blanket drag with a local tick expert confirmed the presence of ticks in the back garden.

By Christmas 2008 Rob was severely ill. Sandra and Rob cancelled their wedding and she became his registered carer. She ceased working for just over two years, but was able to return to professional work once Rob had been diagnosed and had received treatment, which they had hoped would provide a cure. Rob continued to suffer residual symptoms and after a period of relative remission is now experiencing a relapse of his illness. Sandra has become a published author on Lyme disease and regularly attends UK and International conferences on tick-borne diseases to find out about the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment.

 

John Pym, Webmaster

Following a maths degree, John fell quite naturally into computer science though he spent a lot of time sailing, rock climbing, playing squash and participating in many other adventure sports. In 2001 he developed a debilitating headache for which no specialist could find a reason or a treatment despite scans and tests. 3 years later he was prescribed antibiotics for a gum infection and his headaches, fatigue and other symptoms became markedly better. Typing “antibiotics cures headaches” into Google he discovered Lyme disease. Off work for a long period, John has been treated with several long courses of antibiotics. He relapsed between them initially but now considers himself cured and is back to full time work and full time sailing.

John joined LDA in 2005 and has managed the web site and conference booking system ever since.

 

Denzil Searle

Denzil is a Senior Design Engineer with a specialist medical equipment company in Cornwall. There he is responsible for product mechanical design and is part of a team that manages the quality system. In his spare time he trains in a martial art, enjoys hillwalking and is an archery coach.

It is a day spent at a woodland archery range in 2005 that exposed Denzil to Lyme disease. He spent the following 12 months with debilitating pain and fatigue before finding a specialist who diagnosed and treated him successfully with a long course of antibiotics.

 

Wendy Wright

Wendy was bitten while visiting Scotland in the early 1980s. Despite a clear erythema migrans rash, the lack of knowledge about the disease meant she had no treatment until 15 years later, by which time she was very ill with Lyme symptoms. After following some of the first peer-reviewed treatment protocols from America and Europe she thought she had recovered from active Lyme disease and was able to return to full-time work as a research fellow, although with some presumably irreversible neurological damage. Symptoms reappeared after oral surgery involving a large but short dose of antibiotics. Again, the disease responded to appropriate antibiotic treatment.

Wendy currently tutors a variety of Science and Health courses for the Open University and brought her scientific mind to LDA in 2003 when the Charity was formed.