How Leonie squeezed Lyme out of her life

Leonie Shanahan had made it.

She had chased a long-held dream; and worked hard to make a name for herself in the horticulture industry. She pioneered the Edible School Gardens program on the Sunshine Coast, published an educational book and DVD, and become known as an organic gardening expert. She won awards, hung out with the likes of Costa Georgiadis and Jerry Coleby-Williams and was a popular speaker at regional and national events. As a bubbly and social personality, she also loved the after parties.

Leonie Shanahan with award

At age 47, Leonie had left an unhappy marriage and was forging her own independent life. She loved creating her 1.5-acre, edible garden of Eden and wildlife habitat paradise; complete with chooks, guinea pigs and canoeable lake out the back. She was a dedicated mum to two gorgeous teenaged daughters and a small dog named Potcy.

Leonie was strong, busy and successful. She was also lively, dynamic and enjoyed the satisfaction of contributing something important to the world.

Other symptoms started to manifest, and to cut a long story short, Leonie was diagnosed with Lyme disease. After processing the devastation of the diagnosis, gaining an understanding of what it means to have Lyme in this country, and achieving a level of acceptance of her situation, she made a big decision. The best thing to do would be to document her journey back to health, doing it her way, holistically. Because she was going to get better. And she could make some sense of her suffering, by helping others whose lives were also twisted by Lyme.

For over seven years, Leonie kept journals to keep track of thoughts, emotions, treatments, learnings, new routines, practitioners, supplements, and most importantly, what worked and what didn’t. Her carefully kept notes formed the basis of Lyme disease Sucks: The truth, the trauma and the triumph.

Now more than ever, Leonie is living her best life. Having mined Lyme’s darkness for its diamonds, she is wiser and happier, and has the sparkle of someone who has prevailed.

Lyme disease Sucks, her second book will undoubtedly assist anyone, anywhere to make it through the thorough assault on body, mind and spirit that is chronic illness. “Life may give you a cactus,” she says, “but you don’t have to sit on it.”

$1 from every sale of Lyme disease Sucks is donated to the Lyme Association of Australia.

LDAA CEO Sharon Whiteman recently caught up with Leonie to get the low-down on her amazing Lyme journey.

Purchase Lyme disease Sucks: The truth, the trauma & the triumph at all good online bookstores (Booktopia, Book Depository, Amazon, etc) or on Leonie’s website.