Tom Balsamides, an award-winning filmmaker, witnessed the debilitating effects of Lyme disease on his wife Tamara, who struggled for 10 years without a diagnosis and another five until she regained her health and her life. See trailer below…
The Montvale filmmaker spotlights his wife’s battle with Lyme disease. As he witnessed his wife’s pain, Balsamides decided to use his cinematic talents to share her journey.
The film, “A Ticking Time Bomb,” incorporates Tamara’s search for answers, as well as interviews with others facing the disease and experts who weigh in on what some call a very smart bug. Having finally recovered, Tamara co-directed the film with her husband.
“A Ticking Time Bomb” has been accepted into the New Jersey Film Festival and will be screened during the evening block of films on Sunday, Oct. 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in Voorhees Hall, Room #105, 71 Hamilton St./College Avenue Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
During the first 10 years of her illness, Tamara Balsamides suffered headaches, fatigue, and said she felt as though her body was a magnet and the floor was made of metal as she walked from one room to the next.
The mother of two sought the help of more than a dozen doctors and was initially diagnosed with a range of diseases that included: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Lupus.
“There were many days when she couldn’t get out of bed. She also developed hives on her side and stomach. But what made it perplexing is that she would have good days and bad and people would say –but you look so healthy,” Balsamides said.
Most common tick-borne infectious disease
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged deer tick.”
As stated on the NIH website, “Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the United States with state health departments reporting 27,203 confirmed cases and 9,104 probable cases of Lyme disease to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013.”
Balsamides said the most frustrating aspect of the journey was encountering a healthcare system that was not prepared to deal with the real threat of Lyme disease and failed to make available the level of testing needed to diagnose the disease early enough to prevent its long-term and catastrophic effects.
Adding to the complexity of the disease, the NIH states that 2 to 5 percent of those bitten by a tick run the risk of co-infection since one tick can carry several infections such as: Lyme borreliosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and B. miyamotoi infection.
After much research and countless doctor visits and tests, the Balsamides finally found IGeneX, Inc., based in California that offered testing sensitive enough to accurately diagnose the disease.
“We are all victims when it comes to Lyme disease and we must be willing to take the matter into our own hands by fighting back against faulty testing and the general misunderstanding of this disease, said Balsamides, a resident of Montvale.
Balsamides, who has been making films for a decade said he hopes the film will inspire audience members to take action.
“I hope that viewers will become involved in exposing the cover-up, promoting education about this epidemic, and increase funding for research,” he said.
When he is not working at his full time job as a specialty chemical sales representative, Balsamides spends his nights and weekends engaged in his passion of visual storytelling.
In 2011, Balsamides produced and directed “The Hunting Season,” which was awarded Best Feature Film at the IFQ Film Festival in Hollywood. Both the film and actor Michael Sorvino, were nominated for a People’s Choice Award at the Hoboken International Film Festival.
Balsamides considers himself to be largely self-taught and while he did not study film on the college level, he attended seminars and workshops. Balsamides said he is most interested in reaching people emotionally and inviting them to think and feel in a different way.
Watch interview of Tamara and the film-maker here:
For more information about the NJ Film Festival, visit: http://www.njfilmfest.com/
See also: NJ Film Festival Fall 2016 Filmmaker Interview: A Ticking Time Bomb – 06-09-2016 https://youtu.be/L18375RIUzw
Read also: Lyme disease: A Ticking Time Bomb https://theconversation.com/lyme-dise…
Lyme disease is subject of new documentary at New Jersey Film Festival http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-e…
See more video’s and information about Lyme Disease
here on Lyme Channel: http://bit.ly/1VRWk2j