Freeskier Angeli VanLaanen, 26, is working on a documentary film, called "LymeLight," that follows her professional ski career and her battle with Lyme disease. The film is currently in the fundraising stage and has no debut date yet.
VanLaanen and Breckenridge, Colo.-based Neu Productions completed filming for LymeLight this spring and are raising funds to edit and produce the film.
In October 2009, VanLaanen, a Bellingham, Wash., native, was diagnosed with Lyme disease, a tick-born bacterial infection. She was at the height of her career: She'd competed in Ski SuperPipe at the Winter X Games for three years and she was filming for Oakley and Atomic team movies. "I was living my dream," she says.
That all came crashing down due to the illness. "I was too weak to compete," she said in an interview with ESPN.com in 2010. She hasn't competed since her diagnosis.
This month -- May is Lyme awareness month -- VanLaanen is working to raise funds for her movie, and get the message about Lyme disease out there. "I want to create a campaign to raise awareness for Lyme disease," VanLaanen says. "The goal is to educate and inspire through sharing my experience."
The documentary is not for profit, VanLaanen says.
Ultimately, VanLaanen hopes to return to competitive halfpipe skiing. In 2010, she said, "My Lyme disease diagnosis has been mentally difficult ... I just need to remember that I can still ski halfpipe."
[To learn more or donate to the film project, "LymeLight," check it out on Kickstarter.com]