“The letters from the doctors all start the same way: It was a pleasure to meet this man, Bruce Shilton, a strong upstanding member of the community, criminal lawyer for 24 years, judge on the Ontario Court of Justice for six. Whatever Mr. Shilton’s health problems are, the doctors say, they will get to the bottom of it.
“And they never do.
“Mr. Shilton is no longer working as a criminal lawyer, no longer sitting on the bench. He is sitting, instead, at his kitchen table in Oak Ridges, rifling through a stack of letters from medical specialists, letters that offered him hope but led to dead ends.
“Like many who have fallen into this Lyme disease abyss, Mr. Shilton spends most of his time sorting through medical paperwork, trying to track down a solution to the medical mystery that derailed his life 10 years ago.
“TIRED OF ANONYMITY
“And he is tired of doing so in anonymity. Reluctantly, this judge — who used to command attention in the courtroom — now hopes to command attention for a controversial disease and its victims who may not have the same resources and respect he has, who are sometimes viewed as hypochondriacs or kooks…
“…The thing that drives him nuts is the certainty that all this could have been prevented — for him and thousands like him — if the health system would just get off the fence and start taking the disease more seriously, as seriously as it does, say, West Nile that gets a big media blitz every summer.
“He is calling for a task force or independent review of testing and treatment protocols and ultimately, a tick-borne disease clinic.
“‘WE ARE LYME LEPERS’
““We are the lyme lepers of this generation,” he says.”
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