“Most misunderstood disease since AIDS”
New York activist urges Gov. Cuomo to sign the Lyme bill.
New York Lyme activist Holly Ahern is an associate professor of microbiology and the mother of a daughter with Lyme. In addition to years of fighting for her own daughter’s care, she has also worked for the benefit of the Lyme community as a whole. Recently, she has directed her efforts towards trying to protect Lyme-treating doctors in her state, who are being systematically targeted by New York’s medical board.
In Sunday’s Poughkeepsie Journal, Ahern wrote an outstanding Op-ed entitled, “Lyme is the most misunderstood disease since AIDS.” In it, she urges Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Lyme bill (S7854-A7558B), which helps Lyme patients by protecting their treating physicians. It was passed unanimously by both houses of the state legislature in June. Cuomo has until the end of 2014 to sign it.
Ahern’s column is an excellent summary of how our medical system’s misguided approach to Lyme disease hurts patients and puts even more people at risk of serious tick-borne infections. As I write this blog (one day after publication of her article), it is featured prominently on the homepage of the Poughkeepsie Journal’s website. I see it has garnered 18 comments on the website, more than 2000 “likes” on Facebook, and has been shared widely via Twitter and LinkedIn.
This is the kind of attention that newspapers like to receive. It shows them what their audience is interested in reading, and encourages them to keep covering the issue. Here’s how you can help keep this momentum going: Read the article. Leave a comment on the website. Post and share it on Facebook and other social media.
Here’s the comment I left on the website: Thanks to Holly Ahern for writing such a cogent plea to Governor Cuomo about the Lyme bill and thanks to the Poughkeepsie Journal for publishing it. Alas, many newspapers seem to adhere to the philosophy of “Whatever the IDSA says about Lyme disease must be the whole truth.” Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are a serious health threat to this country and, unfortunately, most of the medical establishment (and government health officials) are asleep at the switch. I’m grateful for everything the Poughkeepsie Journal does to try to rouse them from their unhealthy slumber.
If you are a resident of New York state, click here to ask your governor to sign the bill.
If you don’t live in New York, please forward this information to any New Yorkers you know, and ask them to contact the governor in honor of you and your family’s struggle with Lyme disease.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, she’s @dorothyleland.