Posted on 11. April 2012 13:11 by Kevin Flaherty
The Follow was sent to me by a close friend.
As all of you are aware, I have been dealing with Lyme disease for the past seven years. Unfortunately, I am not the only person and the numbers are growing particularly in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. It is now found throughout Canada and has been found as far north in Ontario as Thunder Bay. As word spreads more people are contacting me and my fellow "Lymies" asking for help with this disease. I have had nurses, students, farmers and business people call. There is no preference in age, gender, income level, profession or mental ability as to who will be the next victim. Everyone who enjoys the outdoors, whether it be gardening, golfing, hunting, camping or hiking, to name a few activities, is vulnerable to this disease. All it takes it a bite from a tick- sometimes the size of a poppy seed.
Due to the lack of awareness and knowledge of this disease in Canada, it is almost impossible to be treated in this country. Although treatment and finding a cure is a challenge, I consider myself lucky as I have been fortunate enough to have the most fantastic support system surround me - my family and friends. I have an outstanding doctor in New Jersey who continually helps me to try and put this disease into remission and she will never give up on this Lyme battle. As well as snatching away people's dreams, hopes, and opportunities of the future, this disease can be a financial and emotional disaster for families as they watch a family member withdraw into the cocoon of Lyme disease. With no help available here, frustration and a feeling of helplessness enters the picture.
My personal as well as the goal of Lyme sufferers throughout Canada and the United States is to raise awareness, work towards prevention and get help for the Lyme suffers that desperately need it. This is being done through various avenues and one I am personally involved with is the Lyme Walk taking place in Brampton at Chingacousy Park on May 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m. I have provided the link to our website for this event which is growing by leaps and bounds. We have the full support of the City of Brampton as well as Caledon who are both proclaiming the month of May as Lyme Awareness Month. We are waiting for a response from additional councils. The cost for use of the park was kindly donated by the City of Brampton. We have businesses getting involved, fantastic individuals volunteering their time as well as veterinarians coming to speak as it is affecting our pets as well.
I am asking you to spread the word of this event in a show of support and anything else you feel you are able to do. Posting it on your Facebook, forwarding this message to your friends and family, printing this message and tacking it to a bulletin board or just talking about it may open a door for someone who needs some help.
I have also included the Canlyme website link (Canadian Lyme Disease Association-does fantastic work!) so you can read about prevention and symptoms before we all begin to enjoy the Canadian outdoor season. Read it for your protection - if not for you - your children, your spouse or grandchildren. A family member or friend may have to thank you one day.
Warmest wishes for a safe and healthy outdoor season!