Lyme disease in Florida with Melissa Bell, and the music of Alisa Turner

In the Southern US, the growing epidemic of Lyme disease has been ignored by the medical establishment. However, Lyme disease is present and growing in the South, and many people are suffering. This Wednesday, Melissa Bell of the Florida Lyme Disease Association will join me on Lyme Light Radio to talk about the work of FLDA, and how they are raising awareness of Lyme disease and tick-borne illness in the state of Florida.

In the second half of the show, we have a special treat! Musician Alisa Turner will play for us. I first heard Alisa’s music at the Ticked OFF: Lyme in the South Music Festival in Jacksonville, FL. Once bedridden with advanced Lyme disease, this woman is a true survivor bringing us her gorgeous music. I can’t wait to introduce her to my audience. You do not want to miss her performance!

Melissa and Alisa will join me on Lyme Light Radio this Wednesday, July 16 at 1PM PT/4PM ET. Tune in on WBLQ in Southern New England and Both interviews are available on iTunes, and you can also listen to Melissa’s interview at and Alisa’s music at

Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH


Melissa Bell was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Florida, she worked as a Business Analyst for NCR Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia, Liberty Corner, New Jersey and Orlando, Florida. Melissa returned to the University of Florida to obtain her Juris Doctorate degree, with Honors. After graduating from law school, Melissa worked for two Jacksonville, Florida law firms, collectively for a total of 12 years: Brant, Moore, Macdonald & Wells and McGuireWoods, specializing primarily in commercial and employment litigation.

Unfortunately, Lyme Disease has profoundly impacted Melissa’s family. After years of searching for answers, Melissa and her children were finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease and multiple other tick-borne infections. Melissa saw first hand the struggles that so many other Florida families face due to poor awareness in the state, faulty testing, and flawed treatment guidelines that fail to take into account the complexities of treating late stage, disseminated Lyme Disease, particularly in the presence of co-infections. Through personal experience and outreach to others, Melissa observed that patients in Florida are routinely condemned to unnecessary suffering because they are denied the opportunity for early diagnosis, along with safe efficacious treatments.

Melissa founded Florida Lyme Disease in 2013 in an effort to raise awareness throughout the state, and to provide leadership for statewide advocacy initiatives. Melissa is excited to partner with the talented, passionate Northeast Florida Lyme Association team to improve Lyme Disease education, awareness and surveillance in the State of Florida.

AlisaThrough tragedy, through loss, through sickness and losing it all, Alisa Turner still sings.

Alisa has been writing and performing from the early age of 11. Though she admits at the time there wasn’t much worth listening to, she did embrace those early years trying to conquer the basics of how to write a good song. Entertaining an audience is a must, photo shoots and sparkly dresses are quite the delight, but at the end of the day she wants to be known for and remembered as a respectable songstress. “When a song can be stripped down to its most basic and raw form and still be great, everything else is just a bonus” says Turner.

She leaves it all on the stage. Vulnerability just scratches the surface of what you’ll see when you witness her perform. She takes all that she has endured in this life and pours it into her eloquent piano ballad driven melodies with determination in connecting to each member of the audience.

It’s been an uphill battle since tragically loosing her father, being bedridden for three yrs due to Lyme disease, and giving birth to her son London who lived only 71 minutes in her arms. But instead of focusing on what has been taken away, she rejoices for all that she has been given. It hasn’t been easy for Turner as she will truthfully tell you but, surrendering to it all isn’t an option for this musical warrior.

Alisa has worked with Producers Robbie Seay (of the Robbieseayband), Don Chaffer (of Waterdeep), and Songwriter Cary Barlowe (of Taylor Swift/Carrie Underwood/Lady Antebellum). She has toured and or shared stages with Brandon Heath, Michael Gungor, Shane Alexander, Tenth Ave North, Shane & Shane just to name a few. Her music was used by Stacey Tookey on the TV Show, So You Think You Can Dance which allowed her to spend two weeks at the #1 spot on iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart. She was also featured on Toby Mac’s Album, Portable Sounds. In her own words “It truly took blood, sweat, tears, and many nights sleeping in the car across this beautiful country to have such wonderful opportunities. The difficulties have made me appreciate even the smallest of successes like the first time I received an iTunes check, the first time I was paid for a show, and the first autograph I ever signed.”

In person she comes off as a quiet and gentle spirit, but on stage she is set free. An pin dropping unforgettable strong soaring voice comes out of this girl full of passion and commitment to each note she plays and lyric she sings. She takes you on a journey all your own, capturing your attention and captivating the soul. Alisa Turner is using music to make intimate heart-­to-­heart connections where ever she goes. And it’s all as natural as breathing.

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