Location: Tallahassee, Fla.
In 2003, Mrs. Lanford was hired by Dr. Whitaker to act as a consultant for the Bowen Research and Training Center. Daily, she received calls from patients, physicians and researchers seeking answers about the Bowen test and Lyme disease. These calls came from every state in the U.S., Canada and Europe. She was learning and sharing. Education became her main focus, and the more she was drawn into the science, the more her excitement for the journey grew. Choosing to become an advocate is definitely a calling and it sets one on a passionate mission. However, in educating and helping others with their challenges, one ultimately realizes the value of the experience. What is put out there truly returns tenfold in ways one never truly realizes until the journey’s end.
Dr. Whitaker contributed to Mrs. Lanford’s interest and education in chronic illnesses and their possible connection to Lyme. A research study by Dr. Whitaker and Lida Mattman, Ph.D., was published on the subject. It was called ‘The New Great Imitator.’ The first great imitator was syphilis, which like the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi was also a spirochete. On a professional level, the highlight of her career was in 2008 LIFELYME sponsored a medical conference at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersbury, Fla. The medical conference was co-sponsored by the University of South Florida. She organized the conference program, designed the brochure, invited the speakers, setup the program, and chose the title of the conference, which was, ‘Similarities and Paradoxes in Chronic Illnesses.’ Top speakers chosen were physicians from both the ILADS (International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society) and IACFS (International Alliance for Chronic Fatigue Society). This was the first time these two groups presented together at a Lyme conference. The conference was a huge success, as it opened up the debate on the connections between chronic neurological diseases including Lyme disease. The mantra in Florida by doctors had previously been ‘There’s No Lymes in Florida.’
Today, according to the State of Florida’s Health Department, Florida is endemic for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, including Babesia, a co-infection of Lyme disease. The research now supports the far-reaching effects of bacterial and viral infectious pathogens in patients suffering with many neurological illnesses.