TOUCHED BY LYME: Sharing Alex’s Lyme legacy with 1000s of Girl Scouts
Jody Hudson has lived through a parent’s worst nightmare.
Starting at age 12, her daughter Alex suffered greatly from unrecognized Lyme disease and mast cell activation syndrome. They went from doctor to doctor, endured many tests, and for 10 years, got no real answers.
By the time Alex finally received an accurate diagnosis and started treatment, her body had sustained extensive damage. In a heartbreaking turn of events, in 2018, Alex passed away at age 22.
But her mom was determined to “put purpose and pain together,” to bring forth something good from her daughter’s tragic death. In that spirit, Jody founded the Alex Hudson Lyme Foundation. It’s dedicated to heightening awareness and educating the public—especially young people—about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Her organization recently teamed up with Girl Scouts of Central California South, based in Fresno, to create a special program called Project Tick. It’s designed to teach Girl Scouts of all levels—Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Seniors and Ambassadors—how to protect themselves from ticks and the diseases they can carry. After the girls have completed the requirements, they earn a patch and are encouraged to educate others about this important topic.
As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted many organizations to re-imagine how they carry out their missions. On the national level, Girl Scouts of the USA has launched a new way for girls to participate. Called “Girl Scouts at Home,” it makes various programs and resources available to individuals and troops via the internet. When I recently spoke with Jody by phone, she proudly informed me that Project Tick will soon be shared on the national Girl Scouts’ website.
Providing such critical information to girls and young women during their formative years is a tremendous service. Not only will they learn how to protect themselves, but ideally, they’ll bring that knowledge into adulthood with them. The benefits will ripple out for years to come.
Here’s a video prepared by some Fresno-area girls who completed Project Tick.
Watch what one local TV station had to say about the project:
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s Vice-president and Director of Communications, who is a former Girl Scout herself. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.