TOUCHED BY LYME: Teaching families how to protect themselves from tick diseases
This RN and Lyme survivor uses puppets, songs, and positive messages to teach children—and adults—how to prevent tick-borne illness
Tricky Dick the Tick and Jo the Slow Doe are playful puppets with a serious message. They are the creations of Carol Fox, a retired nurse who lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
In 2005, Carol got bitten by a tick in Bonny Doon, an area not far from the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. She developed a bull’s-eye rash and went to her doctor, who dismissed her concerns because “there’s no Lyme in Santa Cruz.”
Soon, she was so debilitated she “couldn’t turn a door knob.” It took her two years of going to various doctors before she finally found a Lyme specialist who offered the aggressive treatment she needed.
Once her condition improved, she looked for ways to educate the public about tick-borne diseases.
“The medical community is not addressing this problem at all,” she says. “The only people who are going to do it are people who have had Lyme and don’t want others to suffer like they did.”
She offered a Lyme prevention course through the Santa Cruz Free Skool, a community education program, and showed the film Under Our Skin. But she was itching to do something that could involve all ages.
She hit on the idea of developing a program with puppets that could explore the serious subject of preventing tick-borne illness in a fun and non-threatening way.
“Lyme Prevention for the Whole Family,” will make its debut Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m.-noon, at 90 Grandview Street, Santa Cruz (in the community center.) There is no charge to attend. For more information, contact Carol Fox, 831-421-9454.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.