Featured Lyme Disease Challenge ~ Donkey Basketball, Carole Will Bennett ~ Ryegate, Montana

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Photo by Carole Will Bennett. Ryegate, MT, #LymeDiseaseChallenge 2015.

This is an inventive, unique, and inspiring Lyme Disease Challenge from the small town of Ryegate, Montana (with a population of around 300 residents), by Carole Will Bennett.  Her original posts are included here, followed by a few links and facts about the challenge.

She was also willing to share a response to a comment in one of her Facebook posts that shines some light on what she and her family have been through over many years with Lyme disease.

I’m willing to bet that the photos in her first post depict the largest collective #LymeDiseaseChallenge in the state of Montana by the time it occurred and to date.  If I find I’m mistaken, I will be very surprised and you will most certainly hear about it. And if you find that I’m mistaken, please let me know about it!

~ Thank you Carole! ~

Post 1: Ryegate, MT Lyme Disease Challenge

19325_10152706829642026_6183855747927103871_nSTEP 1: My friends & neighbors within our tiny community of Ryegate, Montana, stepped up and took a Bite Out Of Lyme for me (see pic)!! I’m so humbled & appreciative of their support, especially after 20 years of misdiagnosis (that’s 30+ doctors seen & 20+ unnecessary operations for me)!

STEP 2: Lyme Disease Facts:

1) Studies show that standard laboratory tests recommended by the CDC to diagnose Lyme Disease miss approximately half of actual cases, leading to misdiagnosis and an infection that is more difficult to treat.

2) There are no tests available to prove that the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease has been eradicated or that the patient is cured after treatment.

3) Over 63% of patients treated for Lyme Disease continue to suffer symptoms that can be debilitating.

STEP 3: Pass it On – I challenge Victoria Nicole, Thia Melson, and Marty Rippeon

STEP 4: Tag it! ‪#‎lymediseasechallenge‬ ‪#‎takeabiteoutoflyme‬

Post 2: Ryegate, MT Lyme Disease Challenge ~ Donkey Basketball!

11164777_10152716141767026_6172699200878871682_nSTEP 1: Donkey Basketball participants Take a Bite Out of Lyme in Ryegate Montana!!!

STEP 2: Lyme Disease Facts:

1) Lyme Disease has been called “The Great Imitator” and can be mistaken for ALS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, and other illnesses.

2) The CDC estimates that there are 300,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year in the United States. Some experts believe the actual number of new cases could be as high as 1-2 million new cases per year in the US alone.

3) Lyme Disease has 6 times more new cases each year than HIV/AIDS, yet it receives less than 1% of the funding.

STEP 3: Pass it On – I challenge ALL my Facebook friends & family!

STEP 4: Tag it! ‪#‎lymediseasechallenge‬ ‪#‎takeabiteoutoflyme‬

A Glimpse of Carol’s Story (Via Facebook Comment)

I was bit in 1995 in Perry Hall. We lived next to the Gunpowder State Park (lots of deer) and had 2 dogs. I had the bulls-eye rash (only 50% of people get this), but I waited 5-7 days before I went to the doctor (went camping for the weekend…dummy me). I felt like I had a horrible flu. when I asked the doc if he thought it was Lyme, he told me I was crazy and sent me home with 2 antibiotic pills, which were enough to get rid of the flu-feeling at the time. I was tested again in 2008 (test was positive), but that doctor only put me on antibiotics for 30 days, and they did nothing. Since Cayse caught it right away, she could be fine BUT those little buggers can hide out in your body undetected and flare up if/when you have some kind of stress put on yourself. It depends on the type of test (when you say her bloodwork came back clear). Many LD diagnoses are made “clinically”, ie by the symptoms, and not by bloodwork because there is NO reliable test – that’s why I’m posting all of this awareness stuff – to try to get more research and better testing and coverage by insurance companies for treatment. You have to keep in mind that everyone is different, esp how their immune systems respond. That’s why symptoms can come and go over days/months/years – because your body can be successful at repressing the LD….

Lyme Disease Challenge ~ Background and Links

11071518_10205295335577268_928930759556778002_nThere’s a bit more background and follow up on the Challenge in previous posts on Invisibly Lyme Montana, but the facts and information you need can be found in the respective sections of the website at Lymediseasechallenge.org (look for links there to their pages on facebook, twitter, Instagram, and more).  This page on their site will help you get started.

Carole shared this graphic with her challenge, which gives a very good summary.  Additional examples of share-able graphics are at the end of this post.

The site contains numerous resources for patients in addition to information and instructions for the campaign, such as this page containing lists of programs offering financial assistance to patients for testing and treatment.

More Photos from Carole

Lyme Disease Challenge Info-Graphics

Some examples of facts and Lyme Disease Challenge images you can share.
More at:

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