Hartford, CT – 2009 Rally in Support of Dr. Charles R. Jones

Hartford, Connecticut – February 16, 2009, Dr. Charles Ray Jones Rally
Remarks by Pat Smith, President, Lyme Disease Association

Not often in this world do we have the opportunity to meet someone who is selfless, someone who devotes his whole life to what he believes in, yet someone who continues to be humble and who makes a difference in this sometimes heartless world.

Those of us gathered here today are fortunate, we are blessed, we are grateful to have such a person helping our children—restoring their health, giving them the gift of childhood again.

Dr. Charles Ray Jones is the embodiment of all those things and more, even while his detractors, the adversaries of our children, work hard to take everything away from him. But that can never happen. A man like Dr. Jones cannot be brought down by politics, he cannot be brought down by greed, and he cannot be brought down by power struggles. What he stands for cannot be taken away so easily, since what he does is not related to material wealth but to the great love and caring that he has for people, especially our children. That love is blended with a powerful skill, the ability to diagnose and treat children with Lyme disease.

Dr. Jones has never had a real patient complaint against him, and his career is long and unblemished except in the area of Lyme disease. He is caught up with something much bigger than a medical board complaint, he is caught up in perhaps history’s most contentious medical and scientific debate—one that pits sick patients and their treating physicians against a powerful insurance industry and an entrenched medical society that have tremendous power and reach. Many here have felt that long cold powerful arm meddle in their lives. No diagnosis, no treatment, charges of Munchausen’s by proxy, these are all examples how these entities impact our lives.

Our children are sick, our spouses are out of work, we are on disability, insurance refuses to cover our disease, we have no money for treatment. Yet we come here today to support Dr. Jones as he has continued to support us through his own trials and tribulations.

Not only do we need Dr. Jones, but we also need many more like him across this state, across this country. By standing by his side, we can show the world we do not intend to abandon those doctors who are brave enough and selfless enough to treat a disease others turn their backs on. Not all who have refused to treat are bad, many are afraid that they will have to spend their lives fighting the same uphill battle Dr. Jones has. They lack his courage and fortitude. But we can help them by demonstrating that we will never abandon those who help our cause.

Last year, we fought a huge battle in this state to pass a doctor protection bill. Along with legislators sensitive to the plight of their constituents and their own families, we came together on a battleground many thought was not winnable. But with your help, we won. That legislation was passed, and although unable to help Dr. Jones, it has sent a clear message across Connecticut that those who govern this state want an end to the harassment that has taken place.

We need to continue to be vigilant. We need to continue to monitor the situation here and put more legislative reform in place, and we need to take our fight all across this country, where doctor protection bills have been introduced in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts. State by state, we will create a better climate for our treating physicians, a better life for our children and grandchildren.

As case numbers rise, we bring more supporters on board, and those who have been foolish enough to impose their Lyme disease dogma on society are being discredited by their own zealous behavior. But they have left a trail of destruction behind that only honorable men like Doctor Jones can mend. So we continue to stand by him, we continue to fight for him, and we continue to bring our children to his door, where with tremendous medical skill, he heals their bodies, minds, and spirits.

On behalf of parents everywhere, I thank you, Dr. Charles Ray Jones.