Each day of May for Lyme Awareness Month in 2015, whatislyme.com would like to recognize someone in the Lyme community that has done something to try to help the Lyme community. There are several “unsung heroes” in our community and we would like to just offer them a little recognition and make sure that their achievements and efforts don’t go unnoticed.
Today we would like to honor Denise Longman!
Thank you Karen Smith and Peter Kemp for helping me to write this article for Denise, collect pictures and for your tribute to her at the end of the article.
In recent years Denise has been active in helping to organise and promote the London Lyme protests.
In January 2015, LDUK group members Demetrios Loukas organised the first ever patient-lead Parliamentary Conference on Lyme disease which was opened and chaired by The Countess of Mar. Denise gave a presentation at the Houses of Parliament in January 2015 which got a standing ovation from the audience.
Beccles Lyme Protest
Friday 10th of May, 2013
Denise: In 2013 I did my own mini protest with 4 friends in a local town called Beccles and we handed out about 400 leaflets and I was on Radio Suffolk for the evening rush hour programme where they replayed it every half hour.
From Peter Kemp: “Denise started a petition asking that Lyme disease be recognized as a notifiable disease, that doctors and the medical community get trained to treat it and that it can be treated as long as need be for patient improvement. At the 2012 protest she delivered the UK Lyme petition (now up to 13k signatures) to 10 Downing Street.”
That photo was from 10th May 2012, when we did the first Lyme protest in the UK since 2004. . It was organised by Darren Smith. He and his wife and daughter, plus Ruth Black and Catherine Collins and myself, all got permission to go to the door of Number 10 Downing Street where I handed over the UK Lyme Petition, which I began the year before. We only had about 2,300 signatures then, all were printed out plus many comments.
Now in 2015 the petition has more then 12,000 signatures!
Denise had an article about her in Chat magazine and the Eastern Daily Press
Reydon woman’s petition bid to put Lyme disease in spotlight
A north Suffolk woman is taking her campaign to the Prime Minister’s doorstep to raise awareness of a tick-borne disease which “ruined her life.” Read Full Article Here
Denise Longman on the Radio Suffolk for the Worldwide Lyme Disease Protest on May 10th 2013
and has been interviewed on BBC Radio Suffolk 3 times, as well as being interviewed by Sonia Poulten on People’s TV.
Denise Longman talking on Radio Suffolk about Lyme disease, on the morning of the
‘ASK The Department of Health Why?’ rally in London. May 9th 2012
KB and Denise Longman at Southwold Beach, United Kingdom
“KB is a koala bear that travels around the world to meet chronically ill people.” Learn more about KB here.
A message from a friend:
I first connected with Denise on facebook around 2012 through mutual friends raising awareness for Lyme and chronic illness. We didn’t talk all that much in the begininning, just sharing each others posts and interests in patient awareness. We started crossing paths/ talking more after the 2013 Worldwide Lyme Protests. In 2014 – through working on collating international information – and various country information, Denise, Lisa H and myself began to talk more and more regularly. Denise is a quite achiever, working constantly in the background, trying to help people and other countries unite. This, combined with her passion for exposing the suffering of thousands, not only in the UK, but around the world, was why Lisa and myself asked her to help us with the Global Lyme and Invisible Illness organisation – her easygoing nature, and willingness just to jump in and do things, and help everyone from various countries unite makes her a delight to “work” with.
Denise has since become more than just another Lyme advocate to work with – she has become a great personal friend – whom I admire for her continued strength throughout years of personal illness and adversity. ~ Karen Smith
Denise, I just wanted to reiterate everything that Karen said. I can’t say it better then she did but also want to thank you for all you have done. For your Lyme activism and for your friendship. I love working with you, and getting to know you beyond Lyme. And I love skyping with you and Karen but one day I hope to travel and meet you and Karen face to face and give you a big hug. ♥ ~Lisa Hilton