Happy Lyme disease awareness month. It's May. The month when me and all my Lyme friends stand up and shout...Take a Bite Out of Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease Awareness Month is a little different from other awareness months. During other awareness months people are standing up for advocacy and cures. During Lyme Disease Awareness Month we are fighting for recognition (and advocacy and cures). The Center for Disease Control doesn't acknowledge that chronic Lyme disease exists. This creates all kinds of problems for Lyme patients: minimal funding for research, no good tests for detection, treatment is rarely covered by insurance, doctors are unable treat patients without risking their medical license, the list goes on and on.
And perhaps the most detrimental to Lyme patients is we don't feel heard or validated. Imagine going to a top hospital only to be told what you have either doesn't exist or is easily treated with a short round of antibiotics.
There are at least 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are detected in the United States each year. That equates to millions of people suffering in silence.
But there is hope. Lyme patients and doctors everywhere are speaking out and spreading the message of change. That’s where you come in. Please help us get the word about this invisible, life-threatening illness by accepting The Lyme Disease Challenge 2016. Learn more here.
The Lyme Disease Challenge:
1. Take a selfie or picture while biting a lime.
2. Share one fact about Lyme disease in your post. Here is a list:
3. Post your pic on social media using one ore more of the hashtags #LDC2016, #lymediseasechallenge, #takeabiteoutoflyme, and #youalreadyknow.
4. Tag others to invite them to participate in the challenge.
5. If you're feeling generous, donate $10 to the International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS) through this link. Your donation will go to train physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and tick-borne disease.
If you are one of my amazing friends or family members, I would be over the moon if you posted a picture to my Facebook timeline or tagged me in a social media post, so I could add it to my Body Mind Lyme Facebook page. You support has been my lifeline these past 2 years (and many years before that), this would just be the icing on the cake.
So you've accepted the challenge and sent me a photo? Now, what else can you do to raise awareness?
1. Watch Under Our Skin, a fascinating documentary about the CDC's denial of chronic Lyme disease and the subsequent effects on severely ill Lyme patients. Available to stream for free on hulu.
2. Learn these Lyme disease Prevention Tips. And learn what to do if you get a tick bite here.
Will you accept the challenge?
"They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds." - Mexican Proverb
I'm Kerry and I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in 2016. This is a positive space for those of us coping with Lyme disease and other invisible illnesses.