What can you do to raise awareness? Here are a few of the many ways you can make a difference:
Get up to speed on the current information on Lyme. This can involve watching video resources such as Under Our Skin and/or exploring credible articles and websites. The Global Lyme Alliance, LymeDisease.org and ILADS websites are excellent places to start.
Put up a Lyme Awareness poster at your church, local business and/or community center.
Have a nurse or experienced advocate give a presentation to your church, local business and/or community center.
Start or help with fundraising initiatives and activities. A few examples...Lyme-themed social gatherings, crowdfunding efforts and run/walk-a-thons.
Wear a lime green ribbon, bracelet, t-shirt, and the like. Those little efforts can bridge Lyme-related awareness opportunities, such as on-the-spot communication and/or comfort to those who are curious about or who have Lyme Disease.
Know your environment and keep it clean. The outdoors, in particular. Hiking, fishing, soccer games, camping, gardening, yardwork, going to the beach are good examples. I hate to say it, but concrete truly is your friend if you're trying to avoid the bite of all bites from a tick.
Understand that your pets can be carriers. Ticks love to latch onto them and then drop off in one's residence (that's how I got at least one tick bite).
Understand that there is more than one way to contract Lyme Disease. Ticks are obvious. But did you know that they don't travel just via deer? As mentioned, your beloved pets. Deer. Birds. Rodents of all kinds. Lyme disease can be found in mosquitos. It can be passed from mother to child. It can pass from partner to partner. Organ transplants and blood donations can also be tainted with Lyme Disease, which is one reason why those who know they have Lyme Disease are discouraged from donating blood or organs.
Get a Lyme Literate doctor if you don't already have one...SO IMPORTANT! I'd be dead by now if I hadn't.
Be a good friend.
Be a solid mentor.
Be a patient and loving caregiver.
Be a good advocate. In your community or larger scale, i.e., reaching out on a Federal Government level. Petitions can be made to the White House. Your Senators and Congresspeople can be contacted. Fight for positive change and awareness of this epidemic disease.
The opportunities are endless!