THE FULL STORY
Just over twenty five years ago, Brooke lay shaking and aching in a puddle of sweat in the upstairs bedroom of her cousins' Southern California home. The year was 1996 and Brooke had recently graduated from the Acting program at The University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts. Directly after graduation, within a month's time, Brooke booked a recurring role on the long running ABC series, Family Matters back to back with a National Wrigley's commercial that was to air during the Super Bowl. Things were, needless to say, going swimmingly for this 21 year old, NY transplant.
The writers at Family Matters were discussing a spin off series for her and she had meetings lined up with every big agency across the board. Only problem was, she could barely stay awake long enough recite a haiku let alone effectively learn lines or perform.
After drinking a glass of pure Olive Oil one day in one of her desperate attempts to heal what ailed her so fiercely Brooke lay on her side waiting for her Gallbladder to experience some sort of cosmic purge that would bring all of her energy rushing back and spontaneously return her to full health. Nothing happened. It was that day, from her "sick bed", in the midst of all of her Hollywood "success", Brooke bought a one way ticket home to New York.
The next 20 years were spent jumping from doctor to doctor, diagnosis to diagnosis, country to country, only to get temporarily better and then inevitably worse. From Candida, to Lupus, to Chronic Fatigue, to Epstein Barr... Brooke had been diagnosed with and treated for all of the above.
Her first small bit of relief came after meeting Gypsy Gita, a Native American Healer and Intuit who was one of the first people to question and address Brooke's digestive system and emotional life. Changing her diet drastically and having a few colonics started Brooke on her long journey to health.
In 2014, after many years of ups and downs and added attempts to stay in the acting game, Brooke was finally diagnosed with long term, chronic Lyme disease by Dr Maurice Beer at Integrative Medical NY. She learned that all of the above conditions, along with so much more, could be linked to Lyme and its unrelenting co-infections.
There were several healers and doctors who helped Brooke along the way, (Joseph Giacona, Dr Benjamin Asher) and she did a lot of healing throughout the years, managing to stay mostly functional but not capable of maintaining her career. In early 2018, after 37 days straight of being horribly ill (imagine a hangover or flu that NEVER subsides) Brooke blacked out and collapsed alone in her apartment. It was in that moment that she committed to finding the answers and following a path to TOTAL well being, NO MATTER WHAT IT TOOK.
Brooke found Dr. Thomas Szulc and his staff at the New York Center for Innovative Medicine, which miraculously happened to be 5 minutes away from her home. She committed to an intense, uncompromising, expensive and uncovered treatment plan that in the end, left her free of all debilitating pathogens, viruses and bacteria but left her with nothing in her bank account, a gaping hole to fill emotionally, and an entire life to rebuild.
"There is so much to learn, to re-learn, to discover. I have been functioning in fight or flight for so long, the challenge now becomes changing my story, my habits and my patterns so that I do not repeat the past and welcome dis-ease again into my life. I have practiced being sick for so long, I almost don't know how to function as a well person; as a well-Brooke. Who is well-Brooke?"
LymeLight Journey, a ten part documentary series, is not only Brooke's way of re-creating herself and taking her life back in a creative and positive manner, but also serves as a way for others to jump on board, share their healing stories and help others whose journey has just begun.
"'Incurable' only exists when we have a lack of knowledge, a lack of resources and a lack of time. Unfortunately, this is often the harsh trifecta for people struggling with chronic illness. I am here to introduce options, to shine the light on the possibility of permanently changing that dynamic: to change the way we approach healing in this country and thus, the way we approach life."
"It's Ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure when you get back up,
you rise as the whole damn fire."