Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dr. Dave Martz, who overcame his own ALS death sentence

As Dave Martz lay dying, an idea serpentined around his mind and would not loosen its grip: Despite the absolute diagnosis and the insistence of the doctors, including a world expert, that he was dying of ALS, despite his own vow to face things head-on and reject the lure of denial, Martz couldn't shake the notion that possibly, just maybe, he actually had Lyme disease. (from "Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic," by Pamela Weintraub.)
Dr. David Martz is kind of a rock star in the Lyme world. You may have read about him in Pam Weintraub's Cure Unknown, and seen footage of him in the documentary Under Our Skin.
His story is riveting. After a lifetime of good health and a successful career as a physician practicing internal medicine-hematology-oncology for 30 years, in 2003, Martz suddenly started experiencing strange symptoms. First deep fatigue, then profound muscle aches and body-wide pain. Soon he was too weak to get out of bed. As his condition rapidly deteriorated, his physicians gave him a devastating diagnosis: ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). They said nothing could stem his physical decline and he would likely be dead within two years.
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