Karen Smith: Australian and International Activist

activist

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.

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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)

Lyme Research on (LARA)

She has also become an avid international advocate.

Karen’s International Groups and Websites

Global Lyme and Invisible Illness Organisation (Website)

Karen’s Story…

Karen Smith Austrlian Lyme activist

International Activist Karen Smith

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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.

Theda was as personal friend of Karen’s, and she lost Theda, I think it took a part of her heart that she has been trying to rebuild with memories and events to remember her. 7796395

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

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Kate: “In memory of Theda Myint and all those who have been lost to Lyme, and in honour of all who continue with the daily struggle.”
Ellen: "In memory of my precious daughter, Christine urbanowski."
Ellen: “In memory of my precious daughter, Christine urbanowski.”
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E.b.: “”Red shoe day” to honor us & our loved ones lost to Lyme.”

See More Pictures Here

Red Candle for Theda for  her Six Month Rememberance

From Theda's Dad, Aung Myint: You are an inspiration to everyone. I miss you deeply. You are always in my heart Dot xoxoxoxo
From Theda’s Dad, Aung Myint: You are an inspiration to everyone. I miss you deeply. You are always in my heart Dot xoxoxoxo

Photo to the Left: Candles and pictures from Theda's Mum, Carol Adams
Photo to the Left: Candles and pictures from Theda’s Mum, Carol Adams
Blake:  Theda's Partner: "I love you so much and forever my love! xoxoxo"
Blake:
Theda’s Partner:
“I love you so much and forever my love! xoxoxo”

Lyme patients lit candles around the world for Theda.

See More Pictures Here

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. “

KB’s Travel Adventure

July 19th 2014 - Location: Armstrong Beach, North Queensland, Australia
July 19th 2014 – Location: Armstrong Beach, North Queensland, Australia
Date: April 2012 Location: Bovingdon, England, United Kingdom with Amber.
Date: April 2012
Location: Bovingdon, England, United Kingdom with Amber.
KB and Denise Longman at Southwold Beach, United Kingdom.
KB and Denise Longman at Southwold Beach, United Kingdom.
KB in the Narooma News
KB in the Narooma News

 

KB also lent a hand to Nurk kayaking on Wagonga Inlet.
KB also lent a hand to Nurk kayaking on Wagonga Inlet in Austrlia.
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.

Get the Details and See the Pictures Here!

She arranged a number of protests in Australia

Telstra Tower lighitng up green Photo Credit: Alana Brown
Telstra Tower lighitng up green in 2014.  Photo Credit: Alana Brown
Sydney Protest, 10 May 2013 Updated 16 hours ago · Taken at NSW Health Thank you to our roving photographers Kazz Wallace, Danielle Ryan and Ryan Hollings for these pics!
Karen  and Janice at the Sydney Protest, 10 May 2013
Updated 16 hours ago · Taken at NSW Health
Thank you to our roving photographers Kazz Wallace, Danielle Ryan and Ryan Hollings for these pics!
South East Queensland; New Farm Park, Brisbane- Sat 11th May 2013
South East Queensland; New Farm Park, Brisbane- Sat 11th May 2013
Melbourne awareness event - Saturday 11 May
Melbourne awareness event – Saturday 11 May

 Lyme Lives Here Project 2014

Click on a Country to See Pictures

Lyme lives here
Karen using her sense of humor to tell the world, Lyme is in Australia!
Anja from Germany
Anja from Germany
Meister from Germany
Meister from Germany
Janet from Saskatchewan
Janet from Saskatchewan
Lyme Lives Here (Australia)
Lyme Lives Here (Australia)
Will from the US
Will from the US

Again these are just a small sample of the picures from around the world.

Click Here to See More

Karen’s latest venture is working with me, Lisa Hilton, on our

Global Lyme and Invisible Illness Organisation site.

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!

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“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.”

     ~Lisa Hilton

Feel free to leave a comment letting Karen know how much she means to us below. 

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