Dear Lyme Youth,
Hello, I am glad to have a chance to have “met” you online, or at least received notice from Julia that you want to join us. Thank you for getting involved. As I'm sure you all know, our cause is a crucial one. Every step we make towards advocacy and awareness builds prevention. We don't want anyone else to have to suffer from Chronic Lyme! I know we can all work together and support each other through this battle.
I guess a short introduction is in order. I'm Ariel, and I'm organizing LymeYOUTH for Lyme Action PA. I'm twenty-three, and I have Lyme and co-infections. I was studying community organizing at the University of Pittsburgh, but I am on medical leave due to my illness. So I have a double stake in this—I am dedicated to social justice and I want to spread awareness about this terrible disease. But I've never been a leader before, so please bear with me as I learn. My biggest hope for our movement is that future Lyme sufferers will get prompt, adequate and respectful treatment within the medical community.
We are organizing right now for a march on Harrisburg during Lyme Disease Awareness month. Hopefully, I'll see you and other Lyme fighters there. Senator Greenleaf, who has been instrumental in trying to pass the Lyme bill for years, will definitely be there. We might even get Darryl Hall, who has Chronic Lyme disease, to play at the rally.
I am organizing the stories of youth with Lyme Disease and trying to create a database of your experiences. If anyone feels comfortable sharing their personal story with me, please let me know. I'd love to talk to you over the phone or through e-mail, whichever is best for you. If you aren't comfortable, that's alright, too. I have created an anonymous survey, which you can take right here.
Julia and I are working on making a brochure about LymeYOUTH that can be handed out in any LLMD or LLNP's office, as well as Lyme Disease support groups Statewide. Hopefully this will spread further awareness and get more people involved! When it is done, I'll send it to all of you. Perhaps you can give one to your LLMD!
I've put all of you in my mailing list for future announcements from LymeYOUTH. Don't worry, I won't spam you. If you don't want in, or don't want e-mails from me, just let me know and I can take you off the list. If anyone has been accidentally left off this list, it was not my intention. If anyone can think of anyone who should be on this list, or would like to be, please let me know. We need as many people as we can get!
Thank you for being involved,
Ariel Marquet LymeYOUTH Leader