By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities hairstylist — known around the world for her work — is fighting to get back what she’s lost.

Even though Maureen Anlauf has been living with Lyme Disease for more than a decade, doctors only recently diagnosed her with it.

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Now, her daily life is filled with dozens of medications. To make things worse, the infection is attacking the right side of her brain, her creative side. It’s forced Anlauf to put her tools away. She’s so tired and foggy she can’t concentrate.

“I came onto that high profile scene in a short amount of time and just sort of blasted into it and all of a sudden that was just gone,” Anlauf said. “My life right now … it’s not a life.”

So, this can be called nothing else but her hell.

“(My career) was everything, everything to me,” she said. “What came so easy for me before is no longer there.”

Anlauf’s dream to be a stylist started as a little girl.

“My first perm I gave in 6th grade and my friend still swears it was the best perm that she ever had,” Anlauf said.

Anlauf quickly climbed the career ladder, styling for hair shows and for magazines around the world. She received one of the biggest awards in the beauty field, The North American Hairstylist of the Year, three times.

Anlauf’s talent caught the eye of everyone around her. It’s just one of things that brought her a best friend.

“She just had that really unique gift to see that whole picture. Even if we haven’t talked to each other for a long time we know we’re always there for each other and then this happened,” Sandra Ebert, Anlauf’s best friend told us.

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Looking back, the signs were there: trouble sleeping, putting thoughts together and feeling like she always had the flu. For 15 years, she went to doctors without any answers until, finally two years ago, she got one: Lyme Disease.

Anlauf never got that bull’s eye rash we hear the most about.

“When you talk about chronic Lyme, something that’s been existing for years, it shows up in so many different ways that it’s difficult to diagnose,” Ebert said.

Doctors believe the disease came from a tick bite Maureen got while visiting her parent’s cabin up north.

Her only chance at getting back her talents lies with an intensive and expensive treatment, involving eight months of IV medicines.

Her friends are trying to raise $100,000. One of the best doctors to treat Lyme Disease told her it will work.

“I’m praying to God that it will,” Anlauf said.

So, until she has the money to move forward she will wait to wake up from her nightmare and get back to living her dream.

“My hope and prayer is that she’s going to beat this thing and she’s going to come back and show us even more phenomenal work than we’ve ever seen before,” Ebert said.

Anlauf wanted to tell everyone that if they spend any time outdoors, they need to check themselves for ticks every, single time.

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To find out how to help Maureen with her treatment, click here.

Liz Collin