by Lorraine Payette, written April 20, 2015
(Gananoque, ON) Wendy Yaxley Aitkin is small but mighty, just like the deer tick she is trying to eradicate from the planet. A chronic Lyme Disease sufferer, she knows just how powerful something as tiny as the period at the end of this sentence or the dot over an “i” can truly be.
“(We need to do) anything we can do to wake people up,” she said. “Ticks are small and they will take away your life, if you are not educated.”
With that exact goal of education in mind, she is assisting with a new awareness programme and is hoping that everyone everywhere will get out and get involved. Calling her version of the Lyme Disease Challenge “Take a Bite out of Lyme Disease”, she is inviting people around the world to join in on the simple campaign.
“You video tape yourself taking a bite out of a lime, share a fact about Lyme Disease and share it on social media,” said Corinda Ray of Seeley’s Bay.
Aitkin hopes to see people gain a new awareness of Lyme Disease, and to get the medical profession to take it far more seriously than they have been.
“I am a Lyme warrior with all positive tests,” she said. “There are sparks of hope for Lyme sufferers in Canada. Let’s fight back – though most Lyme sufferers will not have the ability to fight, because they are just too sick.”
If you want to join the fight, to get out and “get” this disease before it can get you, get yourself a lime and a video camera. Visit one of the information sites on Lyme Disease (https://www.facebook.com/pages/C-N-L-A-D-S-Canadian-National-Lyme-And-Associated-Diseases-Society/639533619416175 is a great place to start) and learn more about the disease. Then video yourself biting into the lime, and tell the world a little of what you have learned about this crippling and potentially deadly tick borne illness. Post on youtube and other social media, and get the word out there.
The founders are hoping to see this awareness campaign take fire and become even bigger than last year’s ice bucket challenge for ALS.
“If we all do our part, we can bring greater awareness to everyone,” said Aitkin. “This disease does not discriminate – it can affect all people of any age, sex or race, and many of our household pets and other animals. Through a concentrated programme of education and discussion we can start to get the medical community to take us seriously and start to get it under control.”