rat lungworm disease

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Lee Michael Walczuk

Lee Michael Walczuk

Lee Michael Walczuk contracted Rat Lungworm Disease and talks about it in a film made by his daughter Maria.

Having lived on the islands for many years, he had never heard about the disease, never knew anyone that had heard about it or saw any public health warnings on television nor in print.

Prior to the advent of Rat Lungworm Disease in his life, Michael was going through new era in his life. At 65 years of age he was feeling far better than most his age - he was teaching 3 classes a week and involved with a theater group, a cinema group as well as a mask group who were preparing an exhibition in Hawai'i.

At the time he felt as though he had the strength and stamina to be very active 8 days a week. When he came down with the disease and the pain became unbearable he had his son take him to the hospital.

There he was given a battery of tests and eventually told at something like 3 in the morning that he likely just had a bad cold and sent home. Next his son took him to a practitioner of alternative medicine who listened to the description of his symptoms and decided he had contracted Rat Lungworm Disease.

The disease took him from a vibrant 65 year old to someone who now says that at his low point he was functioning at about 18% of his capacity, but has now returned to around 85%.

He feels he is being revitalized even by the earth itself. He has started a greenhouse and does extensive work in the garden.

When he was feeling much better and in recovery his daughter made the film about the illness that almost claimed the life of her father and filmed interviews with 2 other victims, Graham McCumber and Charlotte Harris, who both share their stories as well.

Below is his testimony to the Hawaiian Legislature:

Mahalo nui for your undivided attention to this most important bill - House Bill HB474.

Rat Lungworm disease is a powerful and real entity in our precious communities of Hawaii. I was exposed to RLWD in 2012.

After thousands of dollars and multiple cure options, I am still being treated. Initially I was under observation in the Hilo Emergency Center and was released for having a mis-diagnosed 'extreme case of the flu.'

Being an active Educator on the island of Hawaii, I am extremely sensitive to the realities of informing our Keiki and the Ohana of this disease.

The University of Hawai'i at Hilo, through the leadership of Dr. Jarvi has relentlessly researched and documented this phenomenon. They need assistance and funding.

Please review the film my daughter produced 'Beyond the fear; a documentary about Rat Lungworm Disease'

Thank you kindly for your time and attention. I am available at any time to talk about this situation.

Lee Michael Walczuk

Beyond the Fear

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

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