Kristin and Jennifer: Wisconsin Lyme Activists

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Each day of May for Lyme Awareness Month in 2015, we at 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 Kristin  Collins and Jennifer Christie.

Originally these were going to be two seperate articles, but Jennifer and Kristin work together on so many projects, we thought it would be fun to do a page on them together.

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Left: Tasha Ventimiglia, WLN fundraiser chair. Coordinator of the 2014 Waukesha County Fair Lyme Awareness Event. Middle: Jennifer Christie Right: Kristin Collins

From Jennifer:

Jennifer’s first Lyme awareness event was at St. Norbert’s Coillege in De Pere. Dr. Burrascano came and did a talk to much larger group than they thought would come out!  Cindy VanVehgel and Jennifer came up with the idea to start a Lyme non profit as a way to get into the medical conferences for a discount price to raise awareness and to be able to fund raise at the county fair and Celebrate De Pere festival. They focused on educating doctors believing they were simply under informed and not truly evil for not knowing how to treat Lyme patients. They asked support group leaders from around the state to join them and the WLN was born.”

Click Here to Visit Wisconsin Lyme Network

In the beginning they focused on the DNR, public health nurses etc. The newsletter (The View)  was written and mailed out with an offer to send doctors out to ILADS for free training. 10 doctors were recruited and sent to Dr. Cameron to learn how to treat Lyme disease.

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The next year Jennifer held a CME accredited class at the Medical College of WI. Dr. Cameron came out to do the class and had a nice 2 hour dinner meeting with the president of the college. The next year Bellin Memorial Hospital had Dr. Cameron out for their medical CME conference.

Jennifer said she was thrilled to hold the first annual Worldwide Lyme  awareness event out front of Bellin Memorial Hospital. We premiered Angeli’s LymeLight movie in 2013.

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Bellin Hospital in Greenbay
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Lyme patients watching, “LymeLight – The Story Of Professional Freeskier Angeli VanLaanen Living With Lyme Disease.”
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Everyrone at the rally watched the “Worldwide Faces of Lyme Video” with pictures of Lyme patients from across the globe.
Jennifer and her daughter at the Greenbay, Wi Worldwide Lyme Rally.
Jennifer and her daughter at the Greenbay, Wi Worldwide Lyme Rally.

The next year she  held the event in Madison to a much larger crowd with numerous speakers. This year Erica Zentner is picking up the job and our event will be infront of St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Appleton. The goal of educating doctors is still important to us.”

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Representative Gary Hebl speaks about the Lyme bill at the Madison Worldwide Lyme Rally 2014.
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Jennifer addresses the crowd at the Madison State Capitol.
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Jennifer talking to Lyme patients at the Madison Worldwide Lyme Rally organized by Della Haugen in 2014.

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Kristin:

Kristin has been the President and Medical Liaison for 3 of the 4 years for Wisconsin Lyme Network (WLN). VP and Medical Liaison first year. WLN started in fall of 2011.

She assisted in doctor recruitment in 2011 with VIEW newsletter sent to over 5,000 Practitioners.

She also assisted with multiple awareness and rally events to include three Lyme Walks.

Kristin and Deb (Maker of the Lyme Flags)
Kristin and Deb (Maker of the Lyme Flags)

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She was on WORT Radio show with Dr. Brown and Dr. Hoffmann in May 2014 for Lyme Awareness.

Kirstin has done various talks with VP Jennifer Christie to organizations such as the Ice Age Alliance Chapter of Waukesha. Answer the patient and practitioner emails for the WLN.

Kristin has assisted in promoting Lyme Awareness through the WLN by getting 5 billboards up in SW Wisconsin in fall of 2013 prior to hunting season, to alert hunters and holiday shoppers and travelers of Lyme Disease.

Kristin help Wisconsin’s Lyme Support Network put 5 awareness billboards up across the Milwaukee Wisconsin area.
Kristin help Wisconsin’s Lyme Support Network put 5 awareness billboards up across the Milwaukee Wisconsin area.

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In July of 2013, Kristin did an awareness video with Jennifer Christie, VP per Discover Media for the WCA Group Health Trust with Dr. Hoffmann. The WCA is a state and governmental insurance agency for the state of WI. This was a video for their health topics on their website. Received the most hits of all their videos regarding health topics.

Kristin continually assist patients in finding physicians and answering questions via phone, texting amd social networking daily.

She worked to get information on the Waukesha Public School Districts Website regarding Lyme disease and for the school to promote awareness to parents of children going on outdoor field trips in writing about the risks and need for prevention prior to the field trips.

Attended Wisconsin Worldwide Lyme Awareness Rallies 2013 & 2014.

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Kristin Collins and Paul Mall working the Lyme Awareness Booth at the Madison Worldwide Lyme Rally in 2014.
Kristin Collins and Paul Mall working the Lyme Awareness Booth at the Madison Worldwide Lyme Rally in 2014.
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Erica Zentner(also a big activist) and Kristin Collins walking in front of hospital with Lyme awareness signs.
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Kristin at the Lyme awareness rally in Green Bay Wisconsin 2013.

save5033Concordia Fight the Bite Event at the Country Fair

 

 

This is the Concordia Fight rhe Bite pic from last May.  We were relay busy last year.  Whitney Krueger did this one and that's Dr. Solano
Concordia Fight the Bite  Left: Jennifer Christie Middle: Kristin Collins Right: Dr. Solano
Waukesha County Fair Event 2014
Waukesha County Fair Event 2014 Top: Kristin Collins Bottom: Jackie Zimmerman, Jacqueline Gassen, Jennifer Christie.

Kristin has done multiple informational tables at Waukesha US Bank for awareness.

Assisted new fundraiser board chair, Tasha Ventimiglia and sister Molly Nogalski with Lyme Awareness Event at Waukesha County Fair in July 2014.

Kristin at The Mayday Protest in Washington DC
Kristin at The Mayday Protest in Washington DC 2011. Kristin in front, with Lisa Hilton, Doug Kahn and Melissa Seager

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 Note from Lisa Hilton: I have had the pleasure of working with Kristin and Jennifer on several occasions, including being on the board of the non profit they have started. These two are both hard workers with genuine ethics. They have both gone above and beyond trying to bring about awareness on Lyme disease and co infections. They are awesome good friends to many of us in the community and I am honored to be able to feature them in the “activist of the day” May awareness campaign. Thank you Jennifer and Kristin, for all you !

If you’d like to leave a note for Jennifer and Kristin please do so in the comment section below.





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