May is all about Lyme awareness and this year the Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA) have exciting awareness events planned as well as great fundraising options for those holding their own events.
The LDAA have once again partnered with the Country Women's Association (CWA) and we hope to make this year’s May Lyme Project the best yet.
Recently, the LDAA announced, in conjunction with the CWA, funding for a new pilot patient focused research study which is taking place in Australia. In addition, the LDAA have recently launched Lyme-Ed, a powerful online training program for both patients and practitioners, established the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to inform Australia's health officials of vector-borne diseases and partnered with Dr Richard Horowitz as the LDAA's first Patron. These new initiatives are in place to eventually provide Australian patients with world class testing and treatment options. The LDAA want to lead the way for Lyme patients as an interim solution until Australia’s health officials act.
Every day the LDAA receives emails, often from people who have nowhere else to turn, who are lost in the maze of the Lyme world and are coming to us as their last resort and the LDAA honour their work to help patients. The LDAA provide assistance to these patients in the form of referrals for doctors, testing options (and kits), as well as general support in the form of online and face to face support groups.
No government funding is provided to the LDAA and it is run by a small band of dedicated (many who have Lyme themselves) volunteers. In order for the LDAA to reach their goals to support patients, and make a real difference for them, they rely solely on donations from the public.
The LDAA are so grateful of the support of the Lyme community and are asked every day ‘how can I help’? Here are five things you can do for Lyme awareness month and help support the LDAA and Lyme patients in Australia.
1. Wear a bullseye rash
Social media is flooded with people sporting a bullseye rash. Have you seen it?
Did you know that approximately 50 percent of people report a rash after a tick bite?
#ItsASign is a visual awareness campaign that anyone can do to raise awareness about tick bites – you can order temporary bullseye rashes from the LDAA or download a virtual one to place on your profile pic.
To order a bullseye rash temporary tattoo please visit: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/contact-us/
To download a virtual bullseye rash please visit: https://lymediseasemappingproject.org/profilepic/ldaa/
If you are unable to post a picture of yourself on social media wearing a bullseye rash, the next best thing you can do is SHARE every picture you see. This will ensure that the message travels far and wide. Of course, if you have uploaded your picture don’t forget to SHARE everyone else’s pictures!
2. Buy a raffle ticket
How would you like to win a new car, a cruise, white goods or one of a 100 of other prizes - all while supporting the LDAA? The People’s Choice Community Lottery is NOW on. Tickets are just $2 and you can order them right here.
Remember the LDAA is purely reliant on donations so every bit helps. Thank you to everyone who has already purchased a ticket…we value your support.
3. Talk to media or your local politician
Contact your local member of parliament or media outlet and tell them your story. Back in 2016 the LDAA asked Lyme patients to sign a postcard and send them to their MP, which ultimately lead to the 2016 Senate Inquiry ‘Growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme like illness for many Australian patients’. Your voice is very powerful for both awareness and recognition, so if you can contact your local MP or Media outlet, you may just save a life.
You can access a ‘media pack’ here http://www.lymedisease.org.au/media-and-public-information/
If you appear in any media, we would love to publish your stories on the LDAA’s Facebook page, so don’t forget to send us the story.
4. Hold an event or donate to the LDAA
Each year amazing folks from the Lyme community come together and host events for May. A local stall at community events, fetes and markets, dinners, morning teas and picnics can be held. Your event can be as big, or small as you like, and this year you have the added bonus of selling raffle tickets at your event? The LDAA can also provide you with awareness and merchandise for your event.
Are you thinking of hosting a VIP event or require more information? Please contact us and we can help arrange a guest speaker for your event.
If you would like to sell raffle tickets at your local event please visit here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/contact-us/
If you would like to donate to the LDAA please visit here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/help/
5. Distribute brochures and/or share our social media posts
What better way to spread the word about Lyme-like illness (and help prevention) than by ordering some LDAA brochures and popping them in your local hospital, chemist, or doctor’s surgery. An even easier way is to simply SHARE our social media posts – by spreading the word about Lyme-like illness you are educating people to be aware of the dangers of tick-borne illness in Australia. The LDAA’s Facebook page can be found here and you can follow us on Twitter @LymeDiseaseAus
A sincere thank you to everyone who continues to support the LDAA via donations and events. Without you, the LDAA would not be able to continue their work.
You can find out more about the bullseye rash (erythema migrans), symptoms, signs, testing, and the Horowitz questionnaire here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/education/dr-horowitz-on-may-lyme-project-2018/
You can find out more about the Pilot Patient Study here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/media-releases/
You can find out more about Lyme-Ed here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/lyme-disease-patient-and-practitioner-training/
You can find out more about the Scientific Advisory Committee here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/scientific-advisory-committee/
You can learn more about the LDAA’s Patron Dr Richard Horowitz here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/aboutus/our-patron/
If you require a referral list of Lyme-aware doctors you can visit here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/contact-us/
If you require information on testing (or require a testing kit) you can visit here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/contact-us/
If you require information on support groups that may be in your area or online you can visit here: http://www.lymedisease.org.au/resources/
You can follow us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/LymeDiseaseAustralia/
You can follow us on Twitter here: @LymeDiseaseAus