Episode 216: What Lurks in the Woods – an interview with Nicole Bell


Russ Bell is a married father of two minor children. His MIT educated wife Nicole describes him as the most intelligent man she had ever met.

Mr. Bell grew up in the American South where he enjoyed outdoor sporting activities such as hiking and shooting. He understood that ticks and tick bites were part and parcel of a sportsman’s outdoor experience.

Toward the end of his professional career, Russ Bell fell in love with and married a brilliant young colleague. The couple’s 20-year age gap presented an opportunity to engineer an idyllic life: Russ would begin a new chapter in life as a caretaker for their young children and Nicole would continue to build her blossoming career.

The seemingly perfect family planning came to a sudden halt when the Lyme spirochetes and co-infections lurking in Russ’ brain caused him to suffer cognitive decline from Alzheimer’s disease, rendering him unable to care for his children and eventually himself.

During the family’s painful journey, Nicole Bell heard a call to describe her family’s experience with the raw reality of Lyme and converted her journal into a critically acclaimed memoir: What Lurks in the Woods.

If you would like to learn more about the Bell family’s “mistakes and successes” and the book that author Kris Newby described as a “must read for caregivers,” then tune in now!