Teen with Lyme disease develops app to track ticks

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ANNAPOLIS, MD (WBAL/CNN) - A Colorado teenager is turning her condition into fuel for advocacy.

Olivia Goodreau suffers from Lyme disease. After developing an app to track ticks, she's testifying in front of Maryland lawmakers to help get patients the medications they need.

On her bad days, or Lyme days as she calls them, getting out of bed is a struggle.

"You just feel horrible, and you feel like you have the flu," Olivia said.

The 13-year-old will have Lyme disease for the rest of her life or at least until there is a cure.

"I was bitten by a tick in Missouri between the summer between first and second grade, and I've had Lyme disease ever since," she said. "It took them 18 months and 51 doctors to figure out what I had."

That's why she led the design of "Tick Tracker." It tracks and reports ticks, has data collection and offers resources and information about removing ticks.

Olivia lives in Colorado but was brought to Maryland to testify before lawmakers.

"What this bill will do is when a licensed prescriber deems it necessary for extended antibiotics in the treatment of chronic Lyme disease, it will require insurance companies to cover that," said Karen Lewis Young, Maryland House of Delegates

Olivia knows a lot about the issue. She's started a foundation, Liv Lyme, which helps families pay for Lyme medication.

"Sometimes children talking is better than adults talking, so we're happy to help Maryland," Holiday Goodreau said. "And we hope it does get passed because then hopefully it'll go to the rest of the 50 states."

Since that will take time, they hope the app will help educate people until then. According to Global Lyme Alliance, more than 200 children contract Lyme disease every day.

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