This year was the first time I was able to participate in the 7th Annual Loudoun Lyme 5k/10k and 1k Fun Run sponsored by DryHome Roofing & Siding, Inc. and NatCapLyme.
I’ve had Lyme disease since at least 2006 and for as long as I’ve known about the Loudoun Lyme 5k/10k and 1k Fun Run, I’ve wanted to attend. Each year I’ve either been too sick to go or I’ve had other commitments. This year when I saw that my calendar was free I decided I was going to go even though I haven’t been feeling that great. My 16-year-old daughter agreed to go with me and so we headed down to volunteer as course marshalls.
This event helps to drive awareness and raise money to help find a cure for Lyme disease – the number one tick-borne illness in the United States. The Loudoun Lyme 5K/10K also featured a 1K fun run, as well as an information fair to educate the public about Lyme disease, its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
It was an exciting morning cheering on the runners. I was stationed toward the beginning of the run so I cheered everyone on as they came around the corner. I was overwhelmed as I looked into the faces of those running or walking because I know you don’t participate in something like this unless it means something to you. I got a little choked up when I saw those with canes and wheelchairs go by.
Most people don’t realize that Lyme disease takes lives but it does indirectly as it causes destruction in vital parts of the body. It also takes lives through suicide when people suffer so terribly and feel there’s no hope of recovery. Lyme truly makes you feel like your body is failing you and that you are going to die at any minute. It can be incredibly miserable. I saw numerous people wearing t-shirts with their loved ones’ photos displayed on the front.
Lyme disease is an unrecognized disease, the CDC will not acknowledge the devastating effects of the disease in its chronic form nor do they recognize the many co-infections that are typically transmitted with Lyme disease.
The 1K Fun Run was great as the kids took off to do their part in the day’s events.
All of the participants have been touched by Lyme in some way. I met a young man on his bike who was waiting for his friend to come around the corner. I asked who his friend was running for and the young man told me that his friend’s dog had died of Lyme disease and so he was running in remembrance.
There were even people who weren’t able to attend so they followed online through a virtual run where they were able to print out a virtual big and donate online. How fun!
Sporting my t-shirt, Racing to Finish Lyme
Lyme disease touches so many, in fact, I recently heard that the estimated 300,000 new infections each year as risen to 360,000. Today, Richard Black said there are more than 600,000 each year infected with Lyme disease. Whatever the number, Lyme is devastating lives around the world.
We heard local politicians and officials speak who are concerned about tick-borne diseases. There were health department officials, Lyme disease experts, medical doctors, veterinary specialists, along with vendors and sponsors from throughout the community available to speak to the participants and community.
Lyme disease is not covered by insurance and most doctors won’t treat someone with late stage Lyme. That can leave a person feeling rather hopeless. Having an event where Lyme is recognized, where government officials and doctors are available to talk about it and where everyone around you understands in one way or the other how extremely life-altering this disease is, well, it’s quite remarkable.
My daughter and I taking a break to Take a Bite out of Lyme for
the Lyme Disease Challenge
The proceeds from this event will be invested in vital research and promote Lyme education awareness throughout the area. If you like to learn more check out Loudoun Lyme Run and NatCapLyme.