Vanessa Farnsworth will speak at the Nelson Library on Tuesday

Author tackles Lyme Disease in vital new book

Author Vanessa Farnsworth brings Lyme Disease to light in a special presentation on Tuesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Library.

Nobody likes to think about ticks, or about Lyme Disease. But you can’t sweep this bug under the rug.

Author Vanessa Farnsworth brings Lyme Disease — and her own journey with the bizarrely intelligent tick-borne bacterium — to light in a special presentation on Tuesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Library.

Farnsworth’s book, Rain on a Distant Roof: a Personal Journey through Lyme Disease in Canada, examines the science behind this disease as she describes her struggle with its effects, and her battle with an unprepared medical system.

The guilty bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, has been likened by scientists to a creature from outer space for its ability to mimic different cells. Symptoms can be debilitating, affecting many parts of the body including nerves, brain, and heart. “It’s an incredibly complicated illness,” says Farnsworth, who writes about Lyme disease in her blog on

“One of the many Lyme-related problems that we have here in Canada is the way in which health authorities continue to define Lyme disease in such narrow terms — infection with borrelia bacteria and nothing more — and that’s a definition that isn’t helpful to patients stuck in a medical nightmare.”

It also doesn’t help that the habitat of ticks that can carry the disease — most commonly Western Black-legged Ticks in BC — is rapidly expanding, and that the number of cases is expected to rise.

“Rain on a Distant Roof offers thought-provoking insight into the daily struggles and obstacles faced by chronic Lyme disease patients. Vanessa Farnsworth’s self-described “tick-shattered life” is an all too common but seldom told story of desperately ill Canadians caught in a healthcare nightmare,” says Susan McInnis, president of Lyme Disease Association of Alberta.

Charlene Diehl, director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, describes the author as “an excellent advocate for the Lyme community, both on the page and in person: she is articulate, passionate, invested, well-informed, and vital.”

Farnsworth has published more than 100 columns and articles in national and regional publications such as Canadian Gardening, Canadian Living, Harrowsmith Country Life and others, and literary fiction in a number of Canadian and US literary journals.  She appears in West Kootenay Libraries — including Salmo, Nelson, Greenwood, Creston, Kaslo, Radium, and Kimberley — with support from the Kootenay Library Federation and the host libraries.

Just Posted

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback to play Nelson

The duo will be at the Civic Theatre on May 31

Grease comes to the Capitol Theatre

The production runs Thursday to Sunday

COLUMN: Watching water, thinking about elections

Columnist Donna Macdonald spoke to Prince George councillor Jillian Merrick about inclusiveness

UPDATE: City opens emergency operations centre

Lakeside Park, its sports fields, and parts of the waterfront could soon be underwater

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Second commercial acid spill in Kootenay city

Station 374 Trail was called to a Hazmat scene Wednesday night on Highway 3B

Kootenay village pot survey reveals a mixed bag

The majority of Warfield respondents were for cannabis sales, but with dispensary restrictions

Most Read