Lyme disease survivor trying to map out the tick borne illness in Smithers

Tim Tchida wants to raise awareness of ticks in the region

A Smithers man who had lyme disease is on a mission to help others who contracted it and spread awareness that he thinks the tick-borne illness is in the Bulkley Valley.

Lyme disease is caused by four main species of bacteria and is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.

One sign of being infected is an expanding red area that sometimes clears in the centre, forming a bull’s-eye pattern.

Tim Tchida said he isn’t exactly sure when he contracted the disease, but he has known about it for five years and it was a long and difficult journey to be diagnosed. He has traveled to Germany and the United States for testing spending approximately $300,000 in the process.

“It was horrid,” he said. “I could’ve been homeless. I’m now again running a 500-person company, but at the time lyme disease was affecting me, I couldn’t even cook broccoli. It is way more severe than anyone understands.”

Tchida added that he was finally diagnosed in the United States.

“I went to a clinic for three months in the States and they kept telling me to be patient. It was about two and a half months in, and then suddenly over a three-day period I was able to come in and say it was back. Because of the biotoxins, you have inflammation in the brain, some people have it in their joints, some of it in their organs. It is still a mystery why it is selective that way. But the biggest concern is that people who have a tick bite, remove it correctly and keep it so they can get it tested.”

He said he couldn’t get the help he needed locally because he doesn’t think doctors think ticks carry lyme disease here.

“Lyme is present,” he said. “The [bulls-eye] rash has presented itself and there are dozens of people in the Bulkley Valley that are dealing with Lyme disease now. It isn’t accepted collectively in our medical system. It is so discouraging to hear that people are struggling for answers, even in our small valley trying to recover from Lyme disease without clear direction.

On the BC CDC’s website, it states there were zero confirmed cases of Lyme in the Northern Health Authority in 2018, the latest year of available data.

Tchida is now trying to conduct a study in the Bulkley Valley to map out where ticks are and what they are carrying.

“The mapping for Borrelia was just to see how much Lyme is in the valley, there is no question that Lyme is here. The CDC won’t say that, but I’ve had Lyme disease and since people in the community have known that, I’ve gotten calls from other people dealing with Lyme disease,” he said. “I’ve gone through it. It was a five-year journey. It was two years of horrid consequential hell. I’ve met people throughout the world on that same journey through lyme disease. It is frustrating to hear that doctors don’t accept it to be true because that is how they are trained.”

He is asking people who get a bite to remove the tick properly, put it in a bag and freeze it while noting the location, date and host. People interested in participating can email Tchida at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Council votes to pen letter to fisheries minister asking for earlier Chinook opening date

The DFO is set to reassess Chinook fishing ban in Skeena River on July 15

Native Women’s Association calls for police reform in wake of recent Indigenous deaths

Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi both recently died following interactions with police

Town pushes forward with Active Transportation Plan, postpones Third Street bike lane

The Strategic Priority Committee made a number of recommendations at their June 2 meeting

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Most Read