Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lyme Walk 2011 in NC

Read this Article in the paper regarding the walk I went to on Saturday morning. This article will give you the details about why the walk was being held in the little town of Albemarle North Carolina. Now onto my story.

Prior to my Lyme friend Whitney's benefit raffle, I was invited to this gathering a little over two hours from my home. I thought it would be fun to go, but wrestled with the thought of actually going. I always enjoy hanging out with fellow Lyme patients, but there are several reasons why I thought I wouldn't go. The thought process went something like this:

1. I'm going to spend over 4 1/2 hours in the car.

2. I don't think I'll know anyone there.

3. AND It's going to be OVER 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE!!!!

4. I could easily get sunburned or bit by another tick.

There were however three reasons why I thought that I should go.

1. I knew that I would know Wendy & Brenda from online and that I would have a great time with everyone once I arrived.

2. My ability to advise those that are just starting their Lyme journey or those that knew nothing about the disease.

3. I would be capable of capturing magnificent snapshots of moments.

So after convincing my husband that we should go (despite the HEAT that kept hot dogs warm long after they were cooked!), we went to the store and picked up bottles of Gatorade and water. We purchased three huge bags of ice. Yesterday morning we got up at 5am sharp and packed our car with the cooler full of ice with our drinks, sunscreen, bug spray and our awesome Olympus E-620 SLR camera with extra flash!

Well the drive there was pretty boring. However, I must say "YOU might be in the middle of nowhere IF you see a lady on the side of the road having a little mini yard sale on the hood of her car right near a horse & buggy caution sign." We were right smack dab in the middle of no where. We arrived around 8:20 and I generously applied both sunscreen & bug spray to my skin.

I took a walk over to all the Lyme Clad ladies & gentlemen and threw myself right smack dab in the conversation. Now I am telling you, Lyme has given me many problems. However, it also gave me a huge advantage. Five years ago, there is no way I would have walked into a place with several dozen strangers and felt comfortable enough just to be myself. No way, no how.

Shortly after arriving, I began snapping photos. I took almost four hours worth of photos. I took well over 300 photographs. I won't share them all, but to me these photos are priceless.

Lyme Disease Awareness Board: There were many brochures on Lyme to share with those that participated in the walk.

Tick Remover Tools provided by IgeneX.

Presents for the Lymies. Brenda & Wendy were kind enough to make up packages for those of us in attendance that had Lyme. So very sweet.

Holly presenting the Lyme Awareness shirts.

Ernie & Brenda talking about Lyme Disease.

Lyme Bracelet from May Day

ILADS bag.

Two Lymies sharing a moment.

Brenda counting funds raised.

My new Lyme friend & me.

So the biggest thing that happened was that I got to talk to a young lady I haven't connected with before online. She was the sweetest thing ever. I talked with her and her Dad at length. They got to take home the documentary Under Our Skin. The amazing thing is that I'm more than twice her age! In fact, I'm twice her age plus 3!

What an amazing day.

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