Archive for Paint May Lyme Green

Acclaimed Young Adult Author Jame Richards Discusses Lyme Disease

// June 2nd, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Lyme Media, LymeBites Blog, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Paint May Lyme Green

jame richardsJame Richards, award winning author of the recently released Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of The Johnstown Flood recently released a statement on Lyme disease.  Imagine we are all very famous people, the type of situation that would call for us to “make a statement” about something.  That’s pretty much what it’s like.  Except not really at all, it’s more like she’s a dear friend who wanted to help out with our Paint May Lyme Green campaign, and as we close out the month of May campaign she said this about her own bout with Lyme disease, as well as a warning for others:

“I’ve  taken ticks off my husband and both my children, yet I’m the one who had Lyme. I never saw a tick on me, never had a rash. I was lucky to catch it early, only because I noticed a strange sensation in my hands and feet, like edema but without the swelling. But there must be as many different Lyme symptoms and scenarios as there are cases of Lyme: I would urge people to be conscious of unexplained sensations, random fevers, joint pain, etc. Be mindful AND get tested!”

Not only is Jame a great author, she’s also a great friend of mine.  She has watched as my journey with Lyme disease began, and how it has continued.  She has seen the struggle I’ve had before me to get the care that I need, and when I found that care, how I had to spend every last dollar I had to pay for it.  So while for some in the medical community there may be a question as to whether Chronic Lyme Disease exists or not, Jame can tell you it does: 

“If Lyme disease doesn’t really exist, and is just a fabrication on the part of people who are lazy and want to get out of working, explain why my friend Eric works tirelessly, longer hours than most people, to raise awareness about the disease and its prevention. And wedged in between, he pursues medical care, alternative treatments and ever-elusive relief from the debilitating pain he suffers every moment of every day. Eric, a vibrant, energetic guy who enjoyed his career and spending time with loved ones, was plucked from his own life by Lyme, reduced to an assortment of agonizing symptoms and the malfunction of one bodily system after another after another. Yet Eric gathers what dignity remains to fight on in spite of the pain, to unite Lyme sufferers, and to educate and protect the rest of us from a similar fate.

And yet, some would say Eric chose this path. Chose to give up his job, his home and every last cent in his bank account? Chose to fill his days with pills and injections, brain fog and memory lapses? And fill his mostly-sleepless nights with sweats, terrors, worry and sitcom reruns? Though Eric is someone who has the courage to walk a difficult path, to overcome obstacles and persevere, you could never convince me that he has chosen chronic illness, or that his experience is anything less than genuine.”

Thank you so much Jame on behalf of all of those who suffer with Lyme Disease for your powerful words.  We appreciate so much those who stand up with courage to defend us, many of whom are too sick to stand and defend themselves.

Please take a moment and check out Jame’s website here.  To read more about her amazingly intriguing and genius story of the Johnstown Flood go here.

My Final Wish for May

// May 31st, 2010 // No Comments » // Food For Lyme Blog, LymeBites Blog, Paint May Lyme Green

As May comes to an end, so does the official end of Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I have seen some very powerful things happen this month. Three years ago I was wandering out in left field wondering if I were the only person in the world with this awful illness….feeling so alone. I have met so many amazing “Lymies” this month. Thanks to everyone’s efforts to change their FB profile pics…for once I could see who was there with me. It has been truly overwhelming. I feel as though I no longer walk alone and that I can stand a little taller. I am proud to be standing side by side with each and every single one of you. Such strong, powerful people you all are. Thank you for the gift of your presence in my life.

I have three final wishes for the end of May and I hope you can accommodate.

1. If you do not have Lyme….please I ask one last time….educate yourself. Learn about Lyme. I do not want you to walk in my shoes….for this is not a journey for the weak. Just take 20 or 30 minutes and go to some of the Lyme blogs, websites or various other sources so you can educate yourself and protect those you love.

2. If someone you know has Lyme and is suffering I ask that you take the time to remember them. It is so easy to get caught up in your life and forget those at home dealing with a chronic illness. A phone call goes a long way. It’s easy to please a Lymie….I bet your friend or loved one would appreciate a walk, an afternoon cup of tea….or if you want to help and don’t know how….ask. Sometimes something as simple as a home cooked meal or an offer to do the vacuuming can make a world of difference. Just knowing that someone still cares and remembers you can be the difference between a good day and a bad day.

3. Lastly….and this is not so much a wish but my own personal thoughts….but I dedicate these last few days of May to all of you suffering with Lyme. You deserve these days…you deserve this month. I want you to know you are not alone…that if even if you feel that way….I am here for you. I give you my hope, I pray for you and I truly believe you will get better and stronger. You do not suffer alone and no longer shall we suffer in silence.

Alyssa Knapp

www.foodforlyme.blogspot.com

May Is Ending, Where Do We Go From Here?

// May 31st, 2010 // 6 Comments » // Lyme Media, Lymenaide Awareness Campaign, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Paint May Lyme Green, www.lymenaide.com

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.)

Candice Accola Lyme PSA

// May 19th, 2010 // No Comments » // Lyme PSA, Paint May Lyme Green

Candice Accola’s PSA for Teri, her friend with Lyme disease. Candice is one of the stars on the hit show The Vampire Diaries. Check it out. We are so thankful for Candice’s help in raising Lyme awareness!

Michael Trevino Lyme PSA

// May 15th, 2010 // No Comments » // Lyme PSA, Paint May Lyme Green

The latest PSA produced by Lymenaide and And What Productions, and funded by the Turn The Corner Foundation for Paint May Lyme Green is the LymeBites featured video today, check it out!