Local help for Lyme disease sufferer

Gente Bella Salon and Spa will donate proceeds from all services on Apr 19 to a young woman who is battling severe, late-stage Lyme disease.

Gente Bella Salon and Spa (director Jenny Ryce pictured) will be donating proceeds from all services on April 19 to a young woman who is battling severe

Gente Bella Salon and Spa (director Jenny Ryce pictured) will be donating proceeds from all services on April 19 to a young woman who is battling severe

It’s time to treat yourself to the pedicure, massage or hair service that you deserve, without feeling an ounce of guilt.

On Tuesday, April 19, proceeds from Gente Bella Salon and Spa services will support a young woman who is fighting for her life.

Rose Schwarz was bitten by a tick at age 14 in Grand Forks, B.C.

Over the next 13 years of her life, Rose experienced severe weight loss due to gastroparesis, a paralyzed stomach, with no known cause. Innumerable tests from specialists and doctors were inconclusive.

In 2014, Rose was finally diagnosed with severe late-stage Lyme disease.

Now, this 27 year-old woman is a mere 68 pounds, and her health and quality of life are declining at an alarming rate.

Her mother Tani has set up a GoFundMe page to support Rose’s on-going care and to finance advanced, potentially life-saving treatment options. The Sunshine Coast community has been tremendously supportive over the years, but the Schwarz family is running out of people to ask for help.

Jenny Ryce, a long-time family friend of the Schwarz family and director of Gente Bella Beauty Academy, wants to help share Rose’s story in Chilliwack.

“The thing that is so tragic is that this didn’t have to be her life,” Jenny said.

In it’s early stages, Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, the test for Lyme disease in Canada often produces false negative results – as it did for Rose, and doctors incorrectly labelled her with an eating disorder for years.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” Jenny stressed. “If this was my kid, I would want everybody to help me.”

Her initial idea was to sell raffle tickets for a salon gift basket, to raise awareness and donations from the community. She spoke to her team at Gente Bella, and they decided to take it further and donate all proceeds from a day.

Set up an appointment for April 19 and get the service you’ve been waiting for, and help this young woman in need by doing so.

Clients and visitors can access to Rose’s GoFundMe page on-site, purchase raffle tickets for a gift basket valued at $400, and develop a greater awareness about Lyme disease in Canada.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or $20 for ten, and sales will continue until the draw on May 1. David’s Tea is providing complimentary refreshments and Cobb’s Bread will be providing coupons for cinnamon buns.

“Generosity and compassion is what makes human nature great,” Jenny pointed out. “And in Chilliwack, we rally.”

Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated, as small measures can add up to generate a significant impact.

For more information, go to www.gentebella.ca or call 604-847-0535 to set up an appointment. Gente Bella (#202-7592 Vedder Road) will also accommodate walk-ins whenever possible.

Visit www.gofundme.com/g9ngedtw to learn more about Rose’s story.