Greetings and Salutations this final day of May 2010, or as I like to think of it, 31 days of thousands of people from all over the world ‘Painting May Lyme Green’. I felt it was important to write a follow up to the Paint May Lyme Green Campaign from my point of view, as someone who was very involved in the campaign from it’s early stages, and who put a lot of time and effort into it along with countless others here on the New York team. This campaign was not my idea, it was not my doing. The credit remains with my partner in Lyme, Ashley van Tol. But soon after she began her vision of an awareness campaign, she let me know about it and asked if I would take part. How could I say no, as I was laying there suffering, 10 months into my own less than pleasant journey with Lyme disease, when more than anything I wished someone had given me the information I would have needed to avoid getting that sick. At the same time Ashley was beginning to gather some of the greatest minds in the Lyme disease community, and from there her vision for Paint May Lyme Green became a reality.
The month is over now, and I hope you’ve been following us on all our journey’s of the past month, as well as in sharing the success of so many people all over the world as they too painted May Lyme green. But now that it’s over, I know people are wondering what the outcome of this month has been. Ashley and I are both working on some specific examples, as well a general overview of what we consider the success of this past month’s campaign and a way to showcase all of the hard work that everyone put into it. We’ll be posting that in the next couple of days.
First I have to say that the campaign has been a huge success. For those who don’t know, Ashley received quite a bit of opposition to this campaign in the beginning. As more people got involved, they too began to face some opposition, including some of us here in New York. The great thing is that we just had a simple message to share, to Learn About Lyme!!! That’s it…learn about it, so you can protect yourself from it, and not get as sick as the thousands of us trying to spread awareness right now. We are here to simply spread awareness, and it’s hard to stop something with so much support and so many people willing to help stop others from getting as sick as we are. What a heart warming realization it became for us as the month progressed to see how much people were reaching out to others in so many ways. Like I said there is an article coming up with more info as to the success of the campaign, but first I just want to talk about some things as the month comes to an end.
The Paint May Lyme Green campaign is yes, ending. Because May has to come to an end. But the awareness campaign is not ending. Beginning now we are transitioning to the ’Lymenaide Awareness Campaign’. Ashley and I have both committed to finding a way to make this a year long thing, not just for Lyme disease awareness month.
So maybe some things haven’t happened yet that you had hoped would take place in the month of May, have no fear…there is still lots of time for us to spread awareness. Ashley and I are working hard on some thoughts and ideas as we move forward, as well as using the momentum for the things already set in motion.
This is important because recently we were discussing the Lyme disease awareness month and we came to the conclusion that what has happened is that we have become a snowball, slowly gaining speed, numbers and strength. So have no fear, this amazing month of Painting May Lyme Green has just propelled our growing snowball into the rest of the year, for a campaign that will help so many.
On a daily basis I am hearing from people who have stories about how our work this month has effected them or their loved ones. I can’t tell you how many people have gone on to get diagnoses of Lyme disease because of the information we have been sharing with them. I know people are more aware of the horrors of this disease, parents who have followed us and heard us are worried for their children, so they will be more attentive to looking for ticks. We are literally saving lives here. Do you realize the impact of that? Saving lives…it’s not every day you get the opportunity to do that (unless you’re a Dr, a cop, a firefighter, an EMS worker etc.). Really sit and think about that, you have been a part of saving lives. Amazing!
I am thrilled and honored to officially partner with Ashley in this endeavor, all of you know she is an amazing support to our cause, and asset to our community. For those who don’t know her or her website, please check her out at Ashley\’s Lymenaide Website.
So get ready, because we are just getting started. Think of what we did with less than 3 months to plan, and hardly any budget, relying on the generosity of those who are sick and their families to donate funds to get the campaign started. It’s a pretty powerful way to get started I must say.
I hate having to be sick, but I can’t think of a better time in the history of Lyme to be sick because we are becoming a powerful force with one simple goal – helping others to Learn About Lyme. That is how we spead awareness of this disease.
Congrats to all who have worked so hard this month…and for those of us suffering with Lyme sometimes just dedicating an hour of energy to something is hard work, and it means a lot to us that everyone was willing to rise above being sick to make sure word got out. And we invite you to continue to help us to spread the word that Lyme diseae is real, it’s here, it’s everywhere, and it’s after each of us…and it is going to try to completely destroy each of us. We can’t let that happen. Together, we won’t.
Cheers to all for such an outpouring of hard work and dedication this Paint May Lyme Green month. And a very special thank you to Ashley van Tol of Lymenaide, without whom none of this would have happened…it was her vision that was turned into a reality.
Health and happiness to all.
(Originally Ashley and I were working on writing something together to end out this amazing month of Lyme disease awareness. However, as we were working on things we realized we had two different stories to tell, and therefore decided to each write our own post to wrap up the Paint May Lyme Green month. If you have not yet read her end of May post, please go there now at http://lymenaide.com and read her thoughts on this month’s campaign. In addition, another of our team members and huge contributors to the campaign, Alyssa Knapp (of http://foodforlyme.blogspot.com), also has written her thoughts on this month as it comes to a close. She is now a guest author on LymeBites and you will be able to read what she has to say later today.)