Take the Lyme Disease Challenge — Take a Bite Out of Lyme Disease is an international grassroots social media campaign to raise Lyme Disease awareness.
Lyme Disease is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the country. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recently described Lyme Disease as a “tremendous health problem.” The CDC estimates that there are at least 300,000 new cases each year in the United States alone, with a significant percentage suffering chronic symptoms even after standard antibiotic treatment. The purpose of the Take a Bite Out of Lyme Disease Challenge is to raise awareness and funds to improve diagnosis and treatment. 100% of donations will go to International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Fund (ILADEF), the 501(c)(3) non-profit of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).
Although there are clear benefits of uniting for an awareness campaign considering the millions suffering worldwide, collaborative efforts have been hampered by the fact that many with Lyme are suffering from debilitating symptoms making it difficult to attend physical events. Additionally, patients often cannot afford to participate in many events due to medical bills not covered by insurance, and those afflicted are dispersed geographically.
One of the Challenge organizers, Connecticut native and Ossining, New York resident Lisa Kilion states, “It’s important for parents of children suffering from Lyme to know that they are not alone. There are many others who currently endure the same challenges as they struggle to find effective treatments. Families, medical professionals, and educators have trouble fully understanding the impact that Lyme and associated illnesses have on the lives of children. With support, we can get through these difficult times.”
“Social media has provided Lyme sufferers with a vital framework for both support, as well as advocacy.” states Florida attorney Melissa Bell, another Challenge organizer and President of Florida Lyme Disease Association. Bell states “I am thankful that social media is available to provide a true lifeline for those suffering from chronic, isolating illnesses as well as parents who have children suffering from these conditions.”
How Does the Lyme Disease Challenge Work?
Participants are asked to follow the three easy steps above and make a $10 donation. Those who prefer not to take the bite, can donate $100 instead.