Crippled by Lyme disease - Kellie shares her story to help others

Kellie Maher's young life has been blighted by Lyme disease Credit: ITV

A young woman from the New Forest has set up a support group to raise awareness of Lyme disease, a cruel illness that has blighted her life.

Kellie Maher, 25,from Brockenhurst first started suffering symptoms when she was 14, but it took eight years to diagnose her illness, by which time it was well-advanced and difficult to treat.

She now suffers crippling symptoms such as chronic fatigue, excruciating pain, seizures, fainting and heart problems.

On bad days Kellie is unable to move or speak Credit: ITV Meridian

On bad days she is unable to speak or move, and her family have spent more than £100 000 on treatments, often in America or Europe.

But despite this, Kellie is fighting back and wants to raise awareness of the disease, and how to prevent it.

She and a group of friends have launched the About Time for Lyme support group, a forum for people to find out simple information about ticks and treatment. Please click the link for lots more details about prevention.

Rachel Hepworth went to meet Kellie and her friend Elliot Hawkins

Kellie was prompted to launch the Facebook page after she received support from around 30 of her friends, who wanted to raise money and awareness about the condition.

They are taking part in the 10k Rough Runner in Hampshire next weekend (9/10th April), an endurance race with taxing obstacles.

For more details and ways of supporting the campaign please go to the Facebook page or the AboutTime4Lyme Twitter account