The Lyme Disease Challenge is brought to you by Melissa Ferwerda Bell and Kim Rowe, two Lyme patients/volunteers.
The Challenge in Action
The Challenge kicked off March 1st with thousands participating globally, including Olympian Angeli Vanlaanen, Real Housewife star Yolanda Foster, Fox Sports Broadcaster & Dancing with the Stars Co-Host Erin Andrews, WNBA All Star Elena Delle Donne, and NFL All Star Rondé Barber among other public figures. The campaign has reached millions through both stories in the press and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube).
In the first two weeks, the campaign generated nearly $25,000 through direct donations to ILADEF and proceeds from the sale of over 1,200 T-shirts. The campaign is continuing to grow in momentum. With your help, we truly can make a meaningful difference for the millions suffering from Lyme Disease globally.
For more information about the Lyme Disease Challenge, Lyme Disease research, links to social media, and a listing of the groups supporting the Challenge, please visit www.lymediseasechallenge.org.
The Vision of the Lyme Disease Challenge
The international Lyme Community has united for the purpose of planning and executing the Lyme Disease Challenge, a grassroots effort to spread Lyme Disease awareness, because those suffering from Lyme Disease and co-infections are challenged in all aspects of diagnosis, treatment, and research funding.
There are a staggering number of individuals impacted by Lyme Disease, yet the Lyme community is fragmented with hundreds of groups around the world. While there are clear benefits of uniting for an awareness campaign, collaborative efforts have been somewhat hampered by the fact that many with Lyme are suffering from debilitating symptoms making it difficult to attend physical events. Additionally, patients face financial constraints and geographic dispersion making it harder to congregate in person.
Social media has provided Lyme sufferers with a vital framework for both support, as well as advocacy. This campaign was created by and for the Lyme community using a variety of polls in a Facebook planning group of over 3,500 members. By working together, using primarily a majority rule format, our voice is more cohesive, louder and stronger.
Although our primary goal in this campaign is to spread awareness, through our combined efforts, we recognize that we also have a unique opportunity to raise funding as well. The Lyme community selected the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) to receive all raised funds. All the donations will be accepted by ILADEF, ILADS’s 501(c)(3) educational fund www.ilads.org. The campaign has been organized and run solely using volunteers.