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Ticked Off

By By Phebe Wahl

Photo by Douglas Friedman/Courtesy Ally Hilfiger

06.30.17

As tick populations reach record highs, Hamptons-bred Ally Hilfiger sounds off on the war with Lyme disease.

“This disease is so insidious, and it is an epidemic,” says Ally Hilfiger when speaking of her own battle with Lyme disease. “I know that people need to understand the severity of this disease so they don’t have to go through what I went through.” Her passion pushed her to pen her book, Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me ($27, Center Street). “I knew that there was not a lot of awareness and clarity around this disease. And my mission was not only to validate and give hope to other suffering Lyme patients, but to also help bring awareness and educate in a clearer and, maybe, more interesting way than just putting a bunch of fun facts on [the] board,” she says.

Although it is a constant struggle, these days, Hilfiger is winning the war thanks to a finely tuned wellness regimen and clean diet. “It means gluten-free, sugar-free, organic—not anything fried or processed,” she explains. When out East, Hilfiger haunts JBYoga Studio in East Hampton, where she also sources Young Living Essential Oils as well as works with alternative healers like past life regression therapist Sheila Bath. “She has given me very helpful tools... certain oils to use or baths, or certain visualization and meditation practices,” Hilfiger says.

As for trying to protect her daughter from suffering the same fate, Hilfiger is vigilant about tick protection. “I do full-foot tights with a white long-sleeved bodysuit, and I spray her body down with Tick Tock Naturals, which is a wonderful tick repellent,” she says. Then they follow with baths and tick checks as soon as coming indoors.

“You can’t have a blind eye to it for too much longer because so many people are being affected and dying,” Hilfiger says of the skyrocketing infection rates. “I think awareness is everything.”