In 2004 the support group, NYPenn LDSG, was formed in Millerton, PA for people in and around that community to gather together and share their stories. We learned of a similar group in Corning, NY and joined with them to cover the North Central Region of PA and the Southern Tier of NY.
Our meetings took a turn toward awareness and how we could prevent others from getting tick-borne diseases.
In 2007 we learned of two teenagers, Victoria Wilcox and Sarah Lynch, from Big Flats, NY who wanted to organize a walk promoting Lyme disease awareness and raise money for research. Members of the support group worked with these young ladies to achieve their dream of making Lyme Walk – for those who can’t a reality in May 2008. Over $10,000 was raised for Lyme disease research.
With the publicity the Lyme Walk received we began getting many requests to do presentations to various groups and committee outreach venues. These awareness events brought to our attention many people who suffer from chronic Lyme disease along with the financial burdens that treatment options cause.
We discussed what we could do to help and all came to the same conclusion…. Our communities needed a not for profit organization which would earn money to promote awareness and help those distressed by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
The Lyme Walk - for those who can't was our prime income source from 2009 to 2015 with all proceeds staying local to achieve our mission.
2016 brought a new look to our annual event in the way of Lyme Fair with Lyme knowledgeable vendors with products to buy and words of wisdom and encouragement to offer. This type of event helped some who already suffer with; however, it did not seem to get the word out to those who know very little or nothing about tick-borne diseases.
After much thought, it has been determined that we will move forward participating in bigger established events (i.e. Athens Art Festival, Mill Cove Earth Day, etc.) so that we may reach more people.