5 family members coping with Lyme disease are hopeful with new breakthrough

TOPSFIELD, Mass. — It’s an expertise the Reardons never wanted, but they’re hopeful that a new breakthrough that could stop Lyme disease from entering the bloodstream may one day save another family from enduring the challenges they continue to face.

Alexandra Reardon has Lyme disease.

"It affects every single part of my life," she said.

For Alexandra, life with Lyme disease can sometimes feel like being a prisoner in her own body.

"I still rely on my mom and my family to get me through each day," she said. "I have doctors appointments every day without fail."

Since we first met Alexandra two years ago, her symptoms have gotten worse.

Speaking to us with an IV in her arm to boost her immune system, the 24 year old explains how she’s weaned herself off a cocktail of antibiotics, shifting toward alternative treatments, trying to feel better.

"I keep reminding myself there has to be something that one day it’s going to click with my body and it’s going to help me," she said.

Alexandra, her brother Nicholas and their parents, each affected by Lyme disease in different ways, with some of their symptoms considered chronic.

“I was unable this December to climb a set of stairs, couldn’t open a bottle, couldn’t make a fist, said Michelle Reardon, who has Lyme disease.

Michelle says news that Lyme prep, an annual shot proven effective on mice and primates, now ready for its first clinical trial, is promising, but still a long ways off from helping families like hers presently dealing with this disease.

"Unfortunately, those suffering right now, it’s hard for us. We’re happy it’s happening but we’re suffering and we need help now," Michelle said.

Alexandra said, "I’m hopeful one day I’ll be able to wake up and feel like I have a normal life."

For Alexandra’s brother, Nicholas, life did return to normal after 10 months of antibiotics.

He’s now a division one athlete at Fordham University.

As for that new Lyme disease shot, if clinical trials are a success, Lyme prep could be on the market in about three years.