If you haven’t, we’d highly encourage you to join this Wyoming family, and thousands of families (and teams, celebrities, news stations, and public figures) across and beyond the nation in doing so. It encourages patients, spreads awareness, and raises money for Lyme disease research. All funds raised through challenges and t-shirt sales go to ILADS.
As we said in part one, there are a LOT of moms living with Lyme disease in Rocky Mountain states and provinces. Some contracted Lyme here, some did not, and some don’t know, but we all face unnecessary obstacles to diagnosis and care that could be reduced or eliminated through better awareness, better treatment guidelines, and better policies and application of guidelines in our respective local areas.
These moms and many more are living with Lyme Disease in Northern Rocky Mountain states. Just surviving this illness makes them all heroes. But the longer they live with this illness, the more they learn, and the more people they reach, in their communities and beyond.
Please note that there are many more than those mentioned here making a difference. This is just a starter set, because May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and because we are heading toward Mother’s Day.
We are STILL behind in celebrating our ‘launch’ on May 1, but our reasons are very good, very exciting, and also very behind the scenes!
So….why bring it up?
Partly to convey that our lack of published posts and photos are due to contributions to a good cause and to the greater good of our greater collective cause. But also to offer a little encouragement toward keeping pace, as best as one can, for an increasingly momentous month that I really believe many of us will remember for years to come.
Knowing the trip to Arlington would super-cede any real world, in person celebration of launching our site and our effort, we opted to ask for help with celebrating via photos from supporters in and beyond our region. This was fortunate, as participating in rallies and all the associated pieces took every bit of energy of every person able to come.
By the time we quietly launched May 1, we had supporters in seven countries, numerous states, and three continents, and new partners we are excited to work with. We’ve begun collecting map locations (read more here on how and why) and are already seeing some preliminary patterns emerging.
Myself and others involved so far have had our challenges recently, and/or overlapping Lyme world commitments. So we are grateful for the support via photos.
There is more to come soon, but this is a preview in the form of an initial celebratory image, from Arlington, pending more to come soon, from the photos shared with us and from the events we participated in on and around May 1.
We regret the delay in posting, but all participants will be working to survive their travels home and then working on recuperating from more activity than most of us were really well enough for (but that we all know was worth the cost).
For now, you can read more about this week’s IDSA Headquarters Rally in Arlington hereand about our objectives there here. There are multiple ways to be represented there (or have been, as time is rather short now) if you cannot attend, including:
The StandingUpWithUs campaign (requesting that shoes be sent to IDSA’s Headquarters),
The following is my letter, adapted from my 1,000 Letters Lyme Campaign letter. The intent is to distribute anonymous letters, but my letter has already been published on Invisibly Lyme Montana, and similarities could be deduced if someone were so inclined.
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!
Lyme disease is a serious tick-borne illness caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia, corkscrew-shaped spirochetes. Symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes a bulls-eye rash. If not diagnosed and promptly treated with antibiotics, later stage Lyme progresses to increasingly debilitating symptoms. These symptoms may include Bell’s palsy, meningitis, pain and swelling in the large joints, sleep disturbances, and/or Lyme carditis.1 Although CDC estimates about 10 to 20% of patients report continuing symptoms after treatment, or Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), other researchers believe the percentage is higher.