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Sufferers of Lyme disease look to Dr. Cass Ingram, D.O., for hope as he speaks in Spring Grove.

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“How can a person who didn’t have arthritis, who didn’t injure their large joints, suddenly have a wrist and elbow, a knee that doesn’t work?” asked Dr. Cass Ingram, as he stood at a podium before a full auditorium at Sacred Heart Parish Center in Spring Grove on a recent Wednesday evening.

“If you’re in that category, then you might have undiagnosed Lyme,” Ingram said.

Ingram offered hope as he spoke about wild medicinal spice extracts and the disease-fighting properties each holds.

Fred Valentin, of Stewartstown, was in the audience.

“I’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease, and I’ve had it for about a year,” he said. “It’s really changed my life. Daily pain is unbelievable. The (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that you can fix it with two weeks of antibiotics — that’s not true.”

According to the CDC website, 95 percent of confirmed Lyme disease cases in 2015 were reported from 14 states, including Pennsylvania. Treatment with antibiotics "in the early stages of Lyme disease" usually leads to a complete and rapid recovery, according to the CDC. 

However, the CDC acknowledges that symptoms can last for more than six months in "a small percentage of cases." Sometimes called chronic Lyme disease, Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome is a condition being studied by the National Institutes of Health through treatment trials. Previous NIH-funded studies have shown that antibiotics are not effective in those cases, according to the CDC website. 

Pam Workman, of Conewago Township, was also at the free public event hosted by Sonnewald Natural Foods.

“My husband and I both have Lyme disease,” she said. “It’s debilitating. Every joint aches. Your feet burn. You can’t open things — it’s awful. I’ve actually considered going on disability, but I can’t do it. I just can’t.”

Her husband, Malcolm Workman, agreed.

“A friend from WellSpan, from York Hospital, informed us and invited us, and I’m here because of it,” he said. “It basically destroyed my active life, and as a pastor, it stopped me from being able to do most of the things I used to do. Now I’m willing to do or try just about anything to get freedom from the pain.”

Ingram is the author of books about natural healing and has made numerous media appearances. He offers products containing oil of wild oregano, which is considered to be a germicide and antiseptic.

Pam Workman held a bag containing various combinations of oregano, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, sage and cinnamon. She looked tired, but she said she was full of hope.

“I’m going to take these supplements that he’s talking about and beat this thing,” she said. “I want my life back.”

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