Baccarat partners with Global Lyme Alliance to promote Lyme Disease Awareness
Last January, Claire Benoist d’Etiveaud, working in the New York office of Baccarat, the French crystal manufacturer, fainted while on the job.
What followed was a series of tests and visits to various doctors to discover what was wrong. No one could tell what was causing her to suffer from mostly psychological symptoms—light-headedness, blurred vision, numb hands and feet, chills and severe brain fog. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, Claire knew that Lyme disease was a possibility, but when she was checked, the test results came back negative.
“I wasn’t sure I had Lyme because I didn’t have what I thought were its basic symptoms—joint pains, excessive fatigue, rash,” said the 23-year old who now lives in New York City. “Instead, with my brain fog, I felt I was going crazy.”
Nevertheless, Claire made it to work every day and her Baccarat co-workers were “a great support system,” she said. “I cried for two months straight. They saw me struggle through it and worked with me to help me.”
Luckily, one of her mother’s friends heard what was happening to Claire and said the Lyme test is so insensitive that there can be false negatives. She urged the young woman to see a Lyme specialist, which she did. It turned out that Claire not only had Lyme but also numerous tick-borne co-infections including bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma—and walking pneumonia.
“The doctor told me I was lucky that I was diagnosed so quickly,” said Claire, a Baccarat account executive. “So many people go through years of struggle before they learn they have this illness.”
After 28-days on antibiotics, Claire is doing well, but still undergoing homeopathic treatments. The experience has left her with a resolve to help others suffering from tick-borne diseases. She has learned that each Lyme case is unique. “No one knows how Lyme can affect you,” she said. “It makes me angry that there isn’t more awareness. I want to do everything I can to show others the reality of this disease.”
Baccarat is supporting that effort by holding a shopping event in its Greenwich Baccarat retail store, 238 Greenwich Avenue, on May 10. Cocktails and light bites will be served from 6 to 8 p.m. with 20% of the day’s proceeds going to Global Lyme Alliance (GLA)—the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to conquering Lyme and tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness.
In addition, Baccarat is considering ways to extend its support of GLA to enhance Lyme awareness. “The marketing team is brainstorming ideas right now,” said Claire. “I appreciate what Baccarat and my fellow employees are doing and for wanting to support GLA and the Lyme community.”