Monday, May 9, 2016

It's Heartening In a Strange Way

Parkton Bridge Along the NCR Trail

Nobody knows anything. I deal with people in all walks of life, 
some of whom should have some idea of what they're doing. 
And they're all clueless. 
It's astonishing that any bridges stay up, 
or that planes don't constantly plummet from the sky. 
It's heartening, in a strange way. 
 ~Peter York

This is how I feel about Lyme disease...there are people who should have some idea of what they are doing, but they're all clueless. While I wouldn't say they are "all" clueless, it is pretty frightening how many misconceptions are out there, not just among the regular population, but among doctors as well. That's why it is so important that I use my voice and my experience to get word out to the citizens of my community that this disease is dangerous, rampant, and growing into a larger problem every single day.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and recently I had the honor of attending my local County Council meeting where they read a Proclamation declaring it as such in Harford County. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but this is a huge step in getting local government on board to not only admit there is a growing problem, but also help be part of the solution. If you'd like to see the proclamation read by the Council and received by the members of the local Lyme support group, Harford Lyme Advocates, a chapter of the National Capitol Lyme Disease Association (to whom I donated a portion of the proceeds from my solo art show in October), you can watch it here.  You can forward the video to time marker 8:48 to skip the opening business and see the Lyme portion. A loud thank you to our fearless leader, Janet Jensen, who leads our local chapter with her unrelenting, kind, energetic spirit.

Since my solo show in October, Janet has kept me informed of how the money raised has been used to advocate for Lyme awareness and Lyme patients.

What is going on at the local level:

4 Lyme education awareness tables at public health fairs
Supported work to pass the Maryland Lyme disease bill (2016)
Increased the number of support group meetings to monthly (meet 3rd Thurs each month, 6-, Upper Chesapeake Medical Ctr)
Provided Lyme education materials to local medical offices

What is happening at the national level via NatCapLyme HQ:

Completed work on the K-12 curriculum-  It's ready for public use.
Updated, revised education content in the  website, including updated formatting
Passed legislation in Maryland and Virginia requiring medical providers to give lab report of Lyme testing to patients and disclaimer that testing may not be reliable enough to rule out the disease.
Funded Lyme research conducted by JHU Dr. Zhang and Dr. Aucott.  

So much great work is being completed and pushed forward by an amazing group of people in this county and in the wider Maryland/DC/Virginia area. A hearty thank you to every single person who lives and breathes each day to bring Lyme awareness and fight to see the disease eradicated.

In celebration of Lyme Disease Awareness month, I will donate a portion of the profits from any art sales in the month of May to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association so that I may do my part in helping to keep this never-ending work pushing forward. Thank you in advance to anyone who sees fit to either donate or purchase art this month! You can make a donation here or you can contact me about purchasing art via my email form in the sidebar.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to explore my Living With Lyme link here on the blog, or to contact me via the email form in the sidebar. I will do what I can to help get you information!


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