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 recognize Karen Smith.
Where so we start with Karen? She has done so much it’s overwhelming to even think about!
Karen is doing whatever she can to help her country, Australia to learn about Lyme disease and well as other invisible illnesses. Karen has done hundreds of hours of research on Lyme – which can be seen on her website. These days she focus’s on awareness and supporting patients – The Global Lyme and Invisible Illness Organisation was started after a chat between Karen and I, when we both realised that after working on the Worldwide protests together that there was no one place for information or links to support and help around all countries.
Karen’s Australian Websites and Groups
Lyme Australia: Recognition & Awareness (Website)
Lyme Australia Recognition & Awareness (Facebook)
She has also become an avid international advocate.
Karen’s International Groups and Websites
Karen has also worked on numerous events and campaigns. Some of which she has held very close to her heart. I would guess the most special and personal event Karen has worked on was Theda’s Memorial Page and Red Shoe Day.
Red shoe day, to be held on July 25th annually is a day to remember all those we have lost to invisible illness such as Lyme, ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and the many more illnesses that are invisible.
July 25th 2014 marked the first anniversary of Theda’s passing, and the inaugural year of Red Shoe Day: A Day of Remembrance. People were invited to wear their Red Shoes in memory of those who have passed, and to post the picture and your memories to our facebook page “Red Shoe Day – Worldwide Online”
Here are some pictures from the first Annual Red Shoe Day
Lyme patients lit candles around the world for Theda.
A fun idea Karen had…KB.
“Karen started this fun adventure page for KB, her Koala friend to travel around the world and meet chronically ill people and have fun and adventure to report back to his forever home princess Sarah Louise. KB was getting so popular for visits Nurk kindly agreed to come on board and help with his journey this year. “
To Follow KB’s adventures, or request a visit: Join his Facebook Page Here.
Worldwide Lyme Protest Coordinator for Australia
Karen signed Australia up in to participate in the Worldwide campaign, and along with Janice Foster worked to co-ordinate numerous protests and awareness events with many around the country.
She arranged a number of protests in Australia
Lyme Lives Here Project 2014
Click on a Country to See Pictures
Again these are just a small sample of the picures from around the world.
Karen’s latest venture is working with me, Lisa Hilton, on our
The goal of this site is to help make sure that no matter where you are around the world, you will be able to find some kind of Lyme and tick borne disease support. We have collected information on each country, support groups, research, news and working on lots more to come! So stay tuned!
Because Lyme rarely stands alone, we have decided to include invisible illnesses in too.
Stay tuned for July 25th 2015, we have big plans for Red Shoe Day this year!
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of some of Karen’s accomplishments. She is hoping to get back to doing her Phd or to med school” working on research articles to publish and all while being very sick herself. From all the Lyme activism efforts she puts in, to the lighthearted posts about fairies and KB, Karen is just a light in the Lyme community. So let’s give kudos to Karen and tell her how much she means to us in the Lyme community.”