TOUCHED BY LYME: Paddling across Oregon for Lyme disease
Mike Nosbaum, whose family has been severely affected by Lyme disease, is paddling across the state to raise awareness and research funds.
From the Oregon Lyme Disease Network:
For the last two years I’ve been caring for my wife, Britta, as she suffered and went through treatment for Lyme disease
As a whitewater and wilderness paddler it’s been rough to be away from the river. I had to leave active duty in the US Coast Guard and put together a living while caring for my wife and keeping my 11 and 8 year olds reasonably presentable and at least sorta entertained.
Thanks to family support, I have a block of 25 days where I was just planning to paddle off somewhere crazy and exotic. Alas, I discovered feeble funds in my wallet for such a journey. I figured a simple route from essentially my back yard to Portland involving no costs but food and hitching a ride for me and a 16ft canoe back to Medford.
In the midst of planning someone suggested I use this as an opportunity to spread awareness of the difficulties of getting Lyme disease diagnosed and treated in Oregon.
Coincidently, at this moment, the folks at the Oregon Lyme Disease Network are diligently working to pass legislation to protect medical doctors who diagnose and treat Lyme in Oregon. The organization has graciously offered to arrange press contacts and other public affairs along my route.
In 2014, the CDC revised its annual estimate of new Lyme cases from 30k to 300k.
As a paddling and outdoor sports family, we have been exposed to higher risk of tick-borne diseases. I think bringing this message to an at-risk population like the paddling community is an excellent opportunity.
TV coverage of the Nosbaum family, KDRV-TV (Medford, OR)