Lyme disease is local
October 21, 2013
been a trying several weeks for a Bonners Ferry
family whose young daughter is undergoing
treatment for the debilitating effects of Lyme
Disease, but their abiding faith, the small
steps of progress and the love and support of a
community appear to be contributing just what
the doctor ordered.
And now, every sportsman and hunter everywhere
in the world can spend a little, help an true
outdoor family, and stand to win the opportunity
to enjoy the best of all the outdoor experiences
available that Boundary County, Idaho, has to
offer, though details are sketchy yet.
"I'll do anything I can to help this family,"
Gary Stueve, owner of
His motivation isn't only to help friends he
holds dear, but to raise awareness of a
potentially devastating tick-borne disease that
can strike anyone, anywhere.
Most people think Lyme Disease, named after the
town in Connecticut was identified in 1975, is
caused by ticks, but that's not true. It's
actually wrought by a bacteria that has first
infected a tick.
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the
scientific name of that bacteria, the bitten
person would, and it seems to only infect humans
to whom it is introduced by a deer tick, and
usually in northern climes.
Most anyone who wanders outdoors has met a tick.
For years, they were seen simply as a nuisance
... an ugly critter akin to walking face-first
into a spider web or finding a leech getting fat
on you. Those fortunate find them while they're
Those less fortunate don't run across them until
they're ugly and engorged; often, we never know
they're there; they fill up and drop off without
us ever knowing we were preyed upon.
Most often, we wouldn't know a deer tick from a
wood tick; most of us don't even know they're
arachnids; eight-legged critters in the same
phylum as the spiders which haunt our dreams.
Jess Bremer didn't get too excited when she
pulled a tick off her daughter, Kami, now 12.
She and her husband, Scooter, grew up in the
outdoors, where ticks are as common as
They didn't know why Kami was so ill; only that
it was serious. Unremitting ever, terrible
headaches. When the diagnosis revealed Lyme
Disease, Kami was in serious condition, and the
family took her to a clinic in Arizona that is
the only place in the world that specializes in
treatment for those affected.
The cost has been dear, a home all but
abandoned, family businesses closed.
They dropped almost everything but love and
"To all of you who are praying for Kami and for
our family and writing letters," Jesse wrote
September 17, "thank you!"
On October 1, "Kami didn't feel good, but she
gave me a smile."
An awesome flow of cards, letters and best
wishes, Jesse said, have bolstered Kami's
spirits and wrought smiles.
Back to a lifelong family friend, Gary Stueve.
Without fanfare, he gave much of what he earned
this season past to help his friends ... his
clients didn't even know it.
Now, he's promising more.
He's raffling his services as a taxidermist to
build the winner a beautiful head mount; tickets
are $2 each or six for $10. All proceeds to the
Bremer family. Tickets for that raffle are
available now at the Naples General Store and at
Far North Outfitters in Bonners Ferry.
That's a specialized prize though, he said. He's
putting together a drawing for two for an
all-day float trip down the Kootenai River,
including gourmet lunch.
"I'm good at what I do, but I can't think of all
I might do for Scooter, Jess or Kami." he said.
"I'd also like to say hers is the third
confirmed case ... it affects us all."
If you have an idea of how to help or spread
word, you can call him at (208) 267-5858.
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