Interview with Naïm Abed

How 1 tick bite can turn your life upside down.

Naïm is an intelligent young man of 15 years old. He is now in pre-university education and has fantastic future plans. His life story? That can be called inspiring without any exaggeration. Naim was 2 when he was bitten by a tick. He got chronic Lyme and it had a huge impact, on his health, and on his mental stability. And now? Eventually, he climbed out of a deep and dark valley. He is doing well now and he has big plans for the future. He wants to inspire others. By setting up an international platform, full of inspiring life stories. Everyday People Foundation spoke to him.

EP: How long did you have Lyme?

N: I had a tick bite when I was two, but they only found out after 10 years. If you have chronic Lyme, you often get lost. Many children cannot or are hardly able to go to school at some point. I also experienced this. Besides many physical complaints, I also had psychological complaints. Complaints that got more and more intense over the years. I suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks.

EP: And how did that go further on?

N: I was eventually referred to psychiatry, most doctors thought I was autistic or the cause of my problems were in my ears. When I finally found out that I had Lyme, I started using natural remedies and alternative treatments. It took a lot of discipline and perseverance, but the result was there. It takes years and I have been treated for 2.5 years now and I can go back to school and at least get back into society.

EP: That’s amazing! You’re doing VWO (pre-university education) now?

N: That’s right, I’m in 3 VWO. I think school is very important. I don’t want to choose between my own projects and school, I invest in both.

EP: What do you have with homeless people?

N: I recognize their pain. I lived with the idea that I was not doing well because I could not meet the norm of society. I think this is what homeless people also experience, they fall outside the system, people do not understand how you get into such a situation, when it can really happen to anyone.

EP: And what message do you want to give them?

N: I am terribly sorry that homelessness exists. And I want to show people that despite your problems you are just a human being like everyone else. That you can be successful and that you can get back onto your feet by pushing through. Some people get into a difficult situation because of a wrong choice, or an incident in their life, for me it was a tick bite.

EP: What would have happened if they hadn’t discovered Lyme?

N: If I didn’t have my parents and family then I could have ended up on the street. I always wonder how many people in psychiatry and undoubtedly also on the street, suffer from infectious diseases without knowing it. I found it out by accident. It is important that there are better research methods, and people should be more informed about what infections can do to your body, but also to your mental stability.

EP: Lyme was eventually diagnosed after a long way. You were 12 then. How did you recover?

  N: When I started treating the complaints got worse. I could hardly do anything for 2 years, and had to live a very disciplined life due to food intolerances and the many natural medications and supplements that had to be taken several times a day. I still take things, but fortunately, a lot less snow. I can partially go back to school and can resume my life, so that the rest of the family is also able to resume with their life. I have been supported by many people, friends and strangers. I want to give this kindness back to the world. That is why I would like to do something for society.

EP: What do you want to do for the world?

N: Last year I won a prize of 10,000 euros from Rabobank for pitching my future plans for Lymiez. After that I started working with professionals and decided to quit Lymiez. Because I will heal completely, I am convinced and I want to make a new start in my life without Lyme. That’s why I started a new initiative: NAÏM.

EP: Tell me about NAÏM.

N: It will be an international platform in which I record inspiring meetings with famous people. We talk about in-depth topics, I invite them to share their Overcome & Improve story with me. I am very excited, because Top Notch wants to support me and work together to make my initiative a success.

EP: Wow! What do you want to tell other people?

N: I want to be an example for people who live in conflict every day of their lives, whatever the struggle. Do not give up. I want to inspire, but also be active to make the world a better place. By sharing valuable insights and thereby initiating a positive movement in society. Achieve a re-boost.

Worldwide. My mission is to encourage as many people as possible to contribute to this: Join the re-boost for the world @naimreboost and everywhere! 

EP: Great. Thank you for your time!

N: You’re welcome, good luck with everything you do for the homeless!