Book Review: Lyme disease Sucks – the trauma, the truth & the triumph

In 2014 Leonie was at the peak of her horticulture career with her successful Edible School Gardens program in Queensland. She published her first book Eat Your Garden, organic gardening for home & schools, and produced a DVD Edible School Gardens. But she became very ill and it would be two years before Leonie was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Lyme disease Sucks – the trauma, the truth & the triumph is her story of five years of digging deep for solutions to this very debilitating disease – a disease that left her with multiple symptoms including extreme chronic fatigue, being bedridden a lot of the time, brain fog, the feeling of thousands of bugs crawling under her skin, and many more.

Lyme disease Sucks was written to help the estimated 500,000 people in Australia suffering with Lyme disease who have been abandoned by the government and medical system. It offers natural solutions and gives hope. Leonie is living proof You Can Do It and be healthy and happy again.

As horticulturists we need to be aware of, and educate others in the dangers of ticks that could be in our backyards and in nature, but also the importance of growing our own organic food to increase our immunity and  health.

Leonie says, “Please don’t think you couldn’t have Lyme disease as it does not exist in your town/state. Ask yourself, ‘Where do I go on holidays?’ I got my tick bite in Queensland in 1999 on holidays and it took another 15 years before it fully affected me.”

Lyme disease Sucks is not only an inspiring story of courage and hope but also a guide to treatments Leonie tried – successes and disasters! There are pages of information and suggestions for everyone to restore health and immunity, and become healthy and happy and the best versions of themselves.

Leonie’s new book is a moving and honest story of her battle with Lyme (or Lyme-like) disease that takes us on her journey from joy-filled mother, writer and speaker committed to organic gardening and teaching others, to being overwhelmed with multiple health problems and unable to get out of bed for days on end. 

In her book Leonie explores the highs and lows of treatment, and the inner reserves needed to survive. But survive she did and she is now taking confident steps into the future. Part of that future is to pass on to others who suffer from this disease the treatments, both physical and mental, that helped her get to the point where life is joyful again. Leonie’s book, Lyme disease Sucks, is the first step on her new journey.

Penny Woodward, Garden writer and speaker

Lyme disease Sucks – the trauma, the truth & the triumph Book available online or  

RRP $24.95.  Soft cover. 189 pages. Released July 2021.  ISBN 9781925471540

$1 from every book sale goes to Lyme Disease Association of Australia

For interviews or more information: Leonie Shanahan at 

Website;   Phone 0479 054 347

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