Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Day of Awareness in North Carolina

First I have to give a shout out to two of my friends who did awareness events in their own towns - One is a rock star of an advocate.  She not only did one day of awareness, but she did THREE days worth at the May Fest at Pilot Mountain.  I couldn't be prouder of her for doing it all on her own with her daughter.  I am sure she's one tired lady right about now.  The other friend lives in Hendersonville and she's doing an event every Saturday with other Lymies in May to raise awareness.  I have amazing Lyme friends - truly amazing.

Now, let me tell you about what we did yesterday.  I will be sharing bits and pieces on the NC Lyme Advocacy blog, but wanted to share with you all first because you're my peeps.

I have to give huge props to my Lyme friend Beth.  She not only got this thing scheduled by herself, but she did most of the posters all on her own along with all of the tr-ifolds.  Her husband and Dad came to do the big stuff including setting up tables and the tent.  They did the heavy set up between 8 and 8:30 before I arrived.  I was scheduled to arrive at 8:15, but then got stuck in traffic so wasn't able to arrive until about 8:40.  It was pushing it, but as I like to say --- it is what it is. 

I got there and somehow found my way.  I get lost easier than anyone I know.  The GPS helps in a lot of ways, but this was a "parking" and "walking" situation where I wasn't sure what the buildings were on the flea market map I had and I was terrified I was going to get lost.  However, between Beth's verbal directions and the nice flea market police officer - I found my way just fine. 

So we got set up.  Our first two volunteers showed up.  This was a wonderful sister pair that really helped us get the booth looking just right.  As we were finishing up and I was explaining to one of them exactly what I had in my "big Lyme book" and some other information - another volunteer and her husband came.  We started off slow.  No one seemed to want to take any information, but as I said - if we helped even ONE person - the day would be worth it. 

A little before 10:30, another set of three volunteers came.  A husband and wife duo with her beautiful daughter.  The wife was diagnosed very short time ago and she really jumped in with both feet for advocacy and awareness.  We are fortunate to have her on our side.  She & her husband began competing in passing out brochures.  Every time one of them passed out something - they'd comment on how they were winning the contest. 

Now I must say something about our volunteers.  They were absolutely wonderful.  I set up an excel spreadsheet with each person having about a 2 hour shift (like 9 to 11, or 10:30 to 12:30).   We had at all times between 4 to 8 volunteers.  They worked hard and they talked hard.  Everyone was on time.  Everyone showed up.  No one got really lost.  They were ALL amazing.  We had Lyme patients and supporters alike - Moms & Daughters, Sisters, husbands and wives.  It truly was a spectacular day of awareness.  In total, there were probably 19 volunteers - more if you include the Lyme friends that popped in to say hello that weren't on the volunteer list. 

I enjoyed my time with each group of volunteers differently.  One volunteer's job was strictly to remind ME to rest - even though she did so much more.  I took care of myself.  I drank plenty of fluids, ate plenty to keep me "energized" and went to the bathroom when I needed to.  I sat down when I was ready to collapse and reapplied sunscreen when I felt like I was getting a little sun.

It was windy all day.  It took a lot of gorilla tape and clear packing tape to keep our stuff in place.  One of the tri-folds only fell down once.  The forecast for  yesterday was "cloudy" and "thunderstorms."  Every now and then the sky would look ominous and once we started shuffling things around just in case it started to pour.  However - the rain stayed away.  We didn't even get a drop of rain.  

I would post pictures, but blogger seems to be having trouble with the download process so I will try again tomorrow.  As tired as I was last night and today, I am so glad we did it.  We talked to many people.  A lot were aware of Lyme, several even battled it themselves, but some had no clue what Lyme Disease was and we were able to give some education on how to properly remove a tick.

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