Sandy Hook, NJ – LDA Spotlight on Lyme Walk

Spotlight on Lyme May 18, 2008

Spotlight on Lyme May 18, 2008

As Americans, we are constantly concerned with the concept of freedom–freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, and freedom of the press. There is another kind of freedom which we do not think about which we are rapidly losing, the freedom to enjoy the great outdoors without contracting severely debilitating diseases, diseases which some say are easy to diagnose and easy to cure, like Lyme disease.

Those who have acquired Lyme and their families know this is not the case—Lyme is difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat, and more difficult, if not impossible, to cure when you develop it chronically. The same people who speak about how simple Lyme disease is also say the chances of contracting it are slim. Yet national case numbers continue to rise and New Jersey ranks third nationally.

The United Nations is now writing reports about how global warming is enabling ticks to spread worldwide and move northward, where according to a 2007 report, they have been observed in Sweden in January and also near the Arctic Circle. Many of us in the NE do not need to read the reports to know that ticks are appearing here in January on a regular basis and infecting people. The aggressive lone star tick is expanding its range and numbers in NJ to spread the whole host of diseases it carries.

Unfortunately, government continues to give credence to those who spread information designed to lull people into a false sense of security and not designed to empower people to take the steps necessary to protect themselves.

We need to take back our control over the environment, we need to take steps through education and through research to get back to an environment where a walk or ride through the woods or hugging of the family dog will not signal cause for alarm.

Part of the monies raised here today will do just that. LDA needs to continue funding important projects which will include examining ticks for other infective organisms, looking for the elusive gold standard test for Lyme disease, and finding a cure.

LDA walk Chairs, Kim and Pete Cronin and their Committee have done a great job organizing this event here today. Besides raising monies, the walk has generated education and attention to this debilitating disease which can cause cardiac, neurologic, musculo-skeletal, ophthalmologic, and psychiatric manifestations. We thank you for helping to make this day a success and to keep our families free of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Together, we can regain the freedom to enjoy the outdoors and find a cure for those already afflicted with this incapacitating disease.

Thank you.