To most, the beginning of May is a sign of warmer weather, blooming flowers, and a chance to enjoy the beautiful outdoors without the need for a coat. However, before getting your sunscreen and hiking gear out, consider spreading the news that Lyme Disease Awareness Month has arrived!
The main goal of Lyme disease awareness month is to create universal recognition of what Lyme disease is, how to reduce the likelihood of contracting it, as well as raising money for further research. Each May, millions of dollars are raised worldwide through the power of those who care about the well-being of others. One such event in Canada is Lyme Ontario’s 4th Annual 5k walk, taking place on May 25th in Burlington – check your local listings to see if any events are being held in your area and join the fight.
One of the foremost websites on Lyme Disease education, lymedisease.org, has compiled a list of ways to help do your part in spreading awareness. These include: arranging a Lyme education event, asking your government to create a proclamation, creating a fundraiser on Facebook, organizing a Lymewalk for charity, putting up a billboard, scheduling a screening of critically acclaimed movie on Lyme Disease titled Under Our Skin (2009), writing a letter to the editor of the local paper, and writing a press release. However, such proactive means are not necessary – any little bit helps!
Additionally, readers are encouraged to spread awareness of MyLymeData, the largest long-term study ever conducted on Lyme disease. MyLymeData is extremely helpful for researchers due to the information provided regularly by Lyme disease patients through the means of surveys and questionnaires. Only those residing in the United States that have been formally diagnosed with Lyme disease are eligible.
May has been recognized Lyme Awareness Month since the 1980’s, but it grows in importance each year as the number of confirmed cases continue to escalate throughout North America.