History of Lyme Disease Awareness Month

One of our first volunteer Lyme disease advocates in the nation, a mother living in southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland, had a once healthy daughter who became chronically ill and totally disabled after being bitten by a tick while working outdoors in Maryland.

At the time no one in the State knew about Lyme disease, including the doctors and the hospitals. When the mother informed officials and medical professionals there was a problem she was stearnly told there was no Lyme disease in Maryland.

They insisted "Lime arthritis" was only found in Connecticut.

The mother spear-heading this effort was even more determined to educate as many people as possible about the dangers of Lyme disease and she contacted every media outlet, politician, health department, government official and anyone else who would listen to try to raise Lyme disease awareness.

She was instrumental in making Lyme disease a reportable illness in Maryland and launched the original May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month project.

After Governor Harry R. Hughes (Maryland) left office she worked with Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer to officially designate the month of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Maryland was the first state to establish this annual designation and tradition. Eventually, the Maryland Department of Health and Human Hygiene came on board and now also recognizes this designation.

She also worked nationally with patients and volunteer groups as they became established to help spread awareness.

Today May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month is promoted in all 50 states and many foreign countries, including Canada, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Brazil, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, Scotland, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

This wonderful, dedicated advocate was my mother.

Thank you mom! I love you!

Lucy Barnes


* Due to the wheels of government turning slowly, the first proclamation to officially designate May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month had to proclaim June to be the official month. The following year preparations at the State level were made in advance and the correct month- MAY- was listed on the official proclamation.

Other News

2015- Rick Ostfeld, a paid employee at the NY Cary Institute, wants to change Lyme Disease Awareness Month to April. Read more here.

May I suggest he use some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he was given for tick and ecology studies, or the millions of dollars he got from other donors to help educate, and in turn leave a tradition initiated and funded out of the pockets of sick patients and volunteers as it has been for the past 26 years. This Will Tick You Off- Rick Ostfeld

Participating in Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Abounding in Hope

Acadiana College Student- Louisiana

Alabama Governor- Robert Bentley

Alabama Lyme Disease Association

Arkansas Lyme Disease


Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation


Clarion Today- PA

Denver Sheriff Department- Colorado

Governor Malloy- Connecticut

Henderson Fertilizing- PA

Huffington Post

Kenai Veterinary Hospital- Alaska

Laurie Myers- Arizona Lyme Disease Activist

Local Memphis.com

Loudoun County, VA Board of Supervisors

Lyme Action- PA

LymeBuddies- Maine Resolution

Lyme Disease.org

Maine- Governor

Maine Wellness Connection

Mosquito Squad Chicago

National Calendar

OMC Wellness- Maine

Outbreak News Today

Parchment Girl Blog




Vitality Magazine- Canada

NJ Pest Control- 1 Minute Video

The CDC Announces Lyme Disease Awareness Month- The problem with this is they continue to spread "MIS-INFORMATION" that sets us backward instead of moving us forward.

2015- Click Here.

2011- Click Here.

Last Updated- May 2021

Lucy Barnes