5k Race for Lyme Disease Awareness | Community Spirit
May is Maine’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and this year it will kick-off with a 5K on April 29 to benefit Lymebuddies.
Lymebuddies (http://www.lymebuddies.com/) offers support to those who are affected by Lyme Disease, and to raises awareness about this illness. Together with Jimmy the Greek’s South Portland, The Maine Mall, MaineLyme, Jessica Platanitis from The Lyme Disease Awareness Walk, and race director Tony Myatt, they’ve created the first ever Jimmy the Greek’s Maine Mall 5k for Lyme Disease Awareness.
Experts predict that 2012 will see a major increase in Lyme Disease in New England. A mild winter, early nymph tick activity and the increase in the rodent population all add up to increased exposure to Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease. Early symptoms of Lyme Disease include flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint aches that make day-to-day functions such as going to work, looking after a family or doing regular housework very difficult and sometimes impossible.
“It’s important for the community to come together at an event like this to discuss how best to prevent Lyme Disease,“ said Angela Coulombe, of Lymebuddies. “We need to pass on information about the disease to help people avoid becoming sick and to support those battling the disease everyday.”
LymeBuddies co-founder Amie Levasseur puts it this way, "When people get diagnosed with a serious illness they usually get a lot of information, resources and follow up from their medical providers. With Lyme Disease, patients are often told they will be cured with a short round of antibiotics. But for those who miss early diagnosis and treatment, symptoms are much more aggressive and long term and patients end up feeling scared and alone looking for answers. We want to help bridge that gap. We have partnered with MaineLyme non-profit and Jessica Platanitis from The Lyme Disease Awareness Walk to provide a community of support for Lyme Disease. Together we can help guide people through prevention, education, advocacy, awareness and most importantly hope."
Jimmy the Greek is renowned for not only his great pizza but also for his great heart. With The Maine Mall supporting his efforts to give back to the community, he saw sponsoring this race as a great way to help raise awareness about the disease. “The most important aspect of the race is for the community to come together to show support for this burgeoning disease.” In this spirit, Jimmy’s will be extending its race day specials to all supporters who come out for this event.
Coulombe agrees that a community spirit of inclusion is the most important aspect of this event. “Most people with Lyme Disease can’t run and many have problems even walking”, said Coulombe. “We understand and respect that and don’t want to exclude anyone from simply turning up on the day to show support for the cause. It’s far more important to show strength in numbers on the day so please feel free to come along.”
April 29, 2012, 10am, Jimmy the Greeks, 150 Philbrook Rd, South Portland, ME. Online registration: https://www.baystateevents.com/Search/event.aspx?id=7247
About Lymebuddies: LymeBuddies was started by two Maine Moms who have both struggled with advanced Lyme Disease. We seek to provide information and support for Lyme Disease and other tick borne illnesses. Please visit www.lymebuddies.com for more info.
About MaineLyme: MaineLyme is a non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease the prevalence of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses in the State of Maine through awareness, prevention, education and advocacy. Please visit http://www.mainelyme.org/ for more information.