Now that summer officially arrived, I wanted to write a post about an important subject: Lyme disease.
Being from South Carolina, I have heard of Lyme disease but I had no idea how many people it affects globally each year until I had the pleasure of working with Ally Hilfiger to promote her book, BITE ME. In fact, I was even tested for Lyme disease at one time due to some symptoms that I had, but the test came back negative. Even though I was tested for it, I honestly thought at the time, “Never heard of this. I’m sure I don’t have it.”
Over 329,000 people on average are diagnosed each year with Lyme yet so many more are suffering without even knowing it. Why? There is, unfortunately, no definitive diagnosis for the disease. Ally is just one of thousands who have gone from doctor to doctor knowing something wasn’t right and begging for someone to figure out what is wrong them. After 11 years, Ally finally found the right doctor who helped her get started on the long road to recovery. She is happily Lyme-free now and is using her platform and experience to work with the Global Lyme Alliance to raise awareness and much needed funding so that a cure can be found. In fact, I was just with Ally on May 9th at The Jane Hotel in New York City as she not only launched her new book but also advocated for a Lyme-free future.
Many people know that we must find cures for breast cancer, Hepatitis C, Colon cancer, and HIV. Maybe not everyone knows that more people are diagnosed with Lyme disease than the aforementioned diseases combined each year (Source: GLA).
If you don’t know much about Lyme disease, I encourage you to learn about it. Lyme doesn’t discriminate against man, woman, or child and sadly someone you know may end up with it one day. As you and your family go out and enjoy the warm weather, please remember to use bug spray and dress appropriately so that you and your loved ones stay healthy. Just as importantly, remember to keep your pets healthy and happy by treating them for fleas and ticks as well!
BITE ME: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me by Ally Hilfiger is now available wherever books are sold.