The Lyme Interview: Karen Gloyer
Karen Gloyer is on a mission to educate children and families about Lyme disease. She's written a children's book called, Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick. To spread her message across the country, Karen needs our help. She launched and Indiegogo campaign that runs through August 20th, 2017. This book is very personal for Karen, because she has Lyme disease, and hopes to get her book to as many children as possible. With the funds from the Indiegogo campaign, Karen will donate books to hospitals, doctor's offices, and schools.
What is your Lyme story? How do you think you contracted Lyme and how long did it take you to get a diagnosis?
My doctors think that I contracted Lyme disease in 1999 while living in Fairfield, Connecticut and working for the Audubon Society. I used to hike a lot and remember getting bitten and then falling ill in the fall of 1999. I was not diagnosed with Lyme, Babesia, and Bartonella until spring of 2013. I was unable to read or write by that time because the Lyme disease had crossed the blood/brain barrier.
You wrote a children's book called Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick. What is the book about?
Abby and her four-footed friend Chowser discover the wild, wild woods and all of its inhabitants. Along their journey, they encounter a no good, icky tick named Nick. This children's book was developed as an educational tool to teach children and parents about Lyme disease, from how the disease is transmitted by no good, icky ticks like Nick, to identifying and treating the disease. Follow along with Abby and Chowser as they explore the wild, wild woods in this playful and colorfully illustrated tale, and make sure you always do a tick check once you have been outside. You don’t want a visit from Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick!
What made you want to write the book?
When I lost my ability to read and write, I decided that I wanted to help others to not have to go through the same experience I went through. I had a dream about writing a children’s book, and that dream evolved into Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick.
You've launched an Indigogo campaign for the book. Tell us about it:
I decided to launch a social media fundraising campaign in an effort to bring Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick to more of a national level. This campaign allows people to donate to the campaign and help me donate books to hospitals, schools, and doctors’ offices.
What do you wish people knew about Lyme disease?
I wish that people knew that Lyme disease can be a very lonely and isolating disease. There is no cure for chronic Lyme disease, and one never knows when the disease will rear its ugly head again once you are in remission. Lyme also can affect most any part of the body, including the brain.
Do you have any advice for the newly diagnosed?
I would recommend that no matter what, they continue to have hope. It is not easy with this disease, but doctors are beginning to get better at helping patients, and the Lyme community is pushing harder for more insurance coverage and better treatment. I would also recommend joining a Lyme support group either online or in person. It helps normalize what you are going through and helps you feel like you are not alone.
Is there a person who inspires you in the Lyme community?
My Lyme doctor, Dr. Kenneth Singleton, inspires me. He was a physician who also had Lyme disease, and now his practice is dedicated to helping others with Lyme disease. He believed in me and my book so much that he wrote the Afterword in my book. He always helps me feel better physically and spiritually,
Please share a mantra or quote that inspires you:
Mine is actually a song, "I Will Survive" from the 1970s.
"The secret to happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it." - Dan Dennett
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