Episode 122: Negra Con Lyme’s Rhisa Parera

Episode 122: Negra Con Lyme’s Rhisa Parera


In the last in our 2021 series on Lyme disease, we are joined by the first WOC to discuss the subject: Rhisa Marie Parera. Though she began experiencing symptoms from a young age, Rhisa grew up as an active young woman in Staten Island, NY, and got heavily involved in the salsa dancing scene and modeling from her late teens into her early twenties. At the age of 19, her health took a serious downward turn; and ten years later, aged 29, she had deteriorated to the point at which she was no longer able to participate in activities that had once brought her joy and connection to her heritage. According to the CDC standard Western blot test, she was positive for Lyme disease…but it took a decade to get there. Given her experience of the medical system, she took it upon herself from the point of diagnosis to get her life back, and has been working with a team of integrative practitioners to do just that. She is the author of the Negra Con Lyme blog — a chronicle of her life as an Afro-Latina with chronic Lyme; and will soon be launching a clothing line for Lymies. She has found strength in community, and hosts a BIPOC Lyme support group that meets weekly via Zoom, Sundays at 3pm EST.



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