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. When the mother informed officials and medical professionals there was a problem she was told there was no Lyme disease in Maryland. They insisted "Lyme arthritis" was only found in Connecticut.
The mother spear-heading this effort was determined to educate as many people as possible about the dangers of Lyme disease and 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 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 advocate was my mother.
Thank you mom! I love you!
* 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.
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
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.