When most people think of Lyme disease, they think of tick bites and that classic bulls-eye rash. But for up-and-coming singer Marina Morgan, her experience with Lyme was a lot scarier.
In 2015, Marina says she started experiencing terrifying symptoms—including sudden weight loss, choking, and problems walking and balancing. But it took over a year (and many tests) to determine that she had Lyme disease, a condition that afflicts around 30,000 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It affects so many different parts of your body,” Marina told WomensHealthMag.com in a recent interview about her experience. “It can affect your hearing, it can affect anything. It’s so hard to pinpoint when somebody has it, that’s why so many people have it and they’re misdiagnosed for so long.”
But as physically challenging as her disease was (and continues to be—Marina is not yet in remission), she continued to pursue her music. Her first single, “Paralyzed,” released in 2016, is about her journey with Lyme, and she has spoken about the disease with People and with various Lyme disease awareness groups. Her singing and her outspoken positivity have gotten her praise from high places—including a Twitter shout-out from her personal idol, Demi Lovato.
But now Marina says she’s ready to expand her horizons. Her new single, “Nightmare,” aims to shift the focus from her illness to more classic themes of romance gone wrong. “I want to be able to show a different side of me now and let everybody see not just Marina Morgan, the sick girl but Marina Morgan, the artist,” Marina says.
Marina spoke with us about her scary diagnosis as well as her big goals in the future: