For those who don’t know my backstory, one key piece of it is that my wife has a chronic illness called Lyme Disease. It’s a tick-borne illness that effects the immune system and is typified by systemic symptoms such as joint pain, exhaustion, headaches, anxiety, general aches and pain, etc. There is a ton of controversy around it, with most mainstream doctors insisting that there is no such thing as ‘chronic’ Lyme. Either you get it, get cured through treatment (or your body cures it) or you don’t have it. There’s a huge number of people living with Lyme, who test positive for it and exhibit the classic symptoms with a history of being bitten by ticks years ago, but these same docs insist they can’t possibly have Lyme. My wife falls into this group. As do others in my family and circle of friends. For readers of Runner’s World out there, Bart Yasso – Chief Running Officer of RW and creator of his namesake Yasso 800s – also has chronic Lyme. He’s done a great article on dealing with it throughout his running career. You can learn more about Lyme here.
Luckily, there are some great healthcare providers (doctors and otherwise), who recognize that chronic Lyme is real, and provide amazing help and guidance.
But that’s all about managing chronic Lyme, not curing it. Starting in March, a challenge was put out there called the Lyme Disease Challenge (lymediseasechallenge.org). The purpose is to raise awareness and funding for Lyme research, treatment and support.
The challenge is simple – take a picture of video of yourself biting a lime. Post it on social media and challenge others to do it, too. If you do it, donate $10 to the Lyme Disease Challenge. If you don’t, donate $25 (or donate more, of course!). Donations are tax deductible, and they’re not asking for huge amounts. But getting the word out, awareness up, and people coming together around this issue that is very real, very prevalent and very serious is hugely important.
I wanted to share the photos my wife and I posted. Of course mine is while I’m running (who knows, maybe chewing limes will replace goo and sports drinks on long runs?), and of course my wife looks gorgeous in her photo. Despite what she thinks, she can’t not be beautiful, and the mountains she’s climbed dealing with Lyme only make her more beautiful, strong and inspiring.
So, what do you say? Want to join in? It’s easy, a bit fun, and makes a huge difference. Take a pic, post a video, hashtag it, tag me so I can see the great shots you’re taking, throw a few bucks toward the cause, and enlighten.your.body.