After years battling an "invisible illness" Rachel Channon has pinned her hopes on a controversial treatment at a clinic in Germany.
The 34-year-old Corrimal woman will be one of hundreds of people from all over the world who have flocked to the St Georg Klinik to undergo hyperthermia as a last-ditch attempt to cure them of Lyme disease.
It will cost around $50,000 for the three-week program that aims to kill the bacteria that causes Lyme by raising patients' body temperatures to almost 42 degrees before hitting them with high-dose antibiotics.
The government recognises there's some form of tick-borne disease in Australia, but not locally acquired Lyme.
"Dr Freidrich Douwes, who pioneered this treatment, was originally using it on cancer patients when he realised that the patients who also had Lyme disease were reporting significant improvements in those symptoms," Mrs Channon said.
"Other Australians who've had the treatment have reported positive results and for me, it's my last hope."
Looking back, Mrs Channon realises she's had symptoms of the tick-borne infection for many years. Yet it's in the last six months that they've become debilitating.
"It all stems back to a tick bite while I was bushwalking at Mount Keira in 1997. I then contracted glandular fever and have since been prone to infections and fatigue and it was put down to some sort of auto-immune disease," she said.
"However it got significantly worse six months ago after another tick bite while I was in Sydney. Now I'm constantly fatigued, I suffer joint swelling, headaches, nose bleeds, vomiting and nausea.
"I also have skin rashes, irritable bowel, reflux, palpitations, night sweats, mood swings - the list goes on."
Mrs Channon has seen countless medical professionals, with one GP finally suggesting she send a blood sample to a US lab for testing. The diagnosis - that she had the chronic bacterial infection - was welcome when it came back in January.
"It was a relief - it explained why I was having so many symptoms, and for so long," she said.
However the relief was short lived once she realised that locally-acquired Lyme disease was not recognised in Australia.
The Department of Health website states that Lyme disease can only be transmitted to humans if bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks with these bacteria - it continues - have been identified in parts of the US, Europe and Asia - but not Australia.
"In Australia, this organism has yet to be identified in Australian ticks or any another vector that could transmit disease to humans," it states.
"It is for this reason that the Australian Government does not support the diagnosis of locally acquired Lyme disease in Australia."
For Mrs Channon this means she doesn't get the support - and treatment - she needs.
"The government recognises there's some form of tick-borne disease in Australia, but not locally acquired Lyme," she said.
"That means it's an invisible illness, and I feel invisible.
"It means that sufferers don't get the early intervention that's so crucial to stop it progressing to the chronic stage.
"It also means despite being debilitated from this disease, treatment is not covered by the Australian government or private health insurers or life insurance.
"The whole financial burden falls to us."
Mrs Channon hopes an online fundraiser (www.gofundme.com/rachvslyme) will help cover the cost of the German clinic which she'll travel to in May.
A fundraising trivia night is also being held on March 22 at the Corrimal RSL club. She's also speaking out to raise awareness to help others with the disease.
The Lyme Disease Association of Australia estimates there are well over 2000 medically confirmed cases in Australia and many more undiagnosed cases.
"The longer Lyme disease is ignored in Australia, the more people will become chronically affected and the harder it is to treat," Mrs Channon said.