Vanessa Holden would like to recognize people in the Lyme community that have 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.

Introducing Vanessa Holden

Vanessa at the NYC Worldwide Lyme Rally.

If you have ever talked to Vanessa, she is a very shy, sweet soft spoken person. She is also suffering from Ross Fever, Lipoderma and Lyme Disease. Her days are hard, full of fatigue, pain, seizures and all the symptoms Lyme patients know so well.

A couple years ago, there was an event held called the “Worldwide Lyme Protest.” 30 countries joined forces to all hold protests and awareness events on the same day to let the world know that tick borne infections are a global problem. As sick as Vanessa was, she stepped up to the plate. And what she did was amazing.

With the help of her mother Rachelle and a couple other Lyme friends, she organized a huge event in Union Square, NYC on Fri, May 10, 2013. The line up of speakers at this event was amazing. Now Vanessa was working as part of the Worldwide Lyme Protest grassroots effort. We had no money to help organizers, no big teams helping us, just Lyme patients doing their best to gather speakers and crowds in public places to try to educate others on Lyme Disease. This was no easy task, especially for someone who was very sick.

Here was the line up of speakers that day.

Worldwide Lyme Disease Awareness Rally – May 10, 2013, NYC, Union Square, South Plaza: 12-4 pm
12:00 Musical lead-in
12:30 Dr. Daniel J. Cameron – NY (past president ILADS, president 2013), Lyme and epidemiologic research
12:45 Dr. Eva Sapi – CT, University of New Haven, Dept of Biology and Environmental Science
1:00 Gerald T. Simons – NY, PA-C, works at the Morrison Center, NYC.
1:15 Dr. Charles Ray Jones – CT (ILADS, pediatrician who has treated 20,000 children in Europe, Australia, US, Canada, Mexico, S Africa, Pakistan, India, Singapore, China, Japan, N. Korea, S. Korea, Saudi Arabia etc.
1:30 Tracy Hans – NJ, LPC, ACS, Lyme literate Psychotherapist
1:45 Jeff Christiansen – NY, Fire Island four poster deer program
2:00 Jill Auerbach – NY, Hudson Valley Lyme Disease Association – tick prevention
2:15 Douglas Nadjari, Esq. – NY, who successfully counseled Dr. Liegner through the OPMC process
2:30 Meghan Harrison – PA, Lyme patient, recipient of TBDA Courage Award, 2013
2:45 Ariana Sierzputowski – NY, Lyme patient
3:00 Dr. Andrea Gaito – NJ (co-founder and former president ILADS, current Treasurer, ILADS) rheumatologist/internist


3:15 Dr. Kenneth B. Liegner – NY, internal medicine/critical care, treating Lyme since 1988
3:45 Musical finale
Pam Weintraub – NY, author “Cure Unknown” – book signin

Newspaper article stemming from the rally:
Poughkeepsie Journal: VIDEO: Rallies to raise awareness of Lyme disease, challenge CDC treatment guidelines


Vanessa getting flowers for her birthday as she speaks at the rally.


Pam Weintraub introducing Dr. Liegner and sharing some of her Lyme story 
Photo: Katherine J. Kornblau-Susskind


Dr. Liegner delivering his speech – May 10, 2013
Photo Credit: Katherine J. Kornblau-Susskind

dr-liegnerEva Sapi, Lyme researcher with her little daughter, speaking to the New York crowd and Lyme patients
Photo by Chrysa


Eva speaking as Dr Jones and Lyme patients look on


Dr Jones speaking at the NYC Worldwide Lyme Rally
Photo by Chrysa


Jerry Simons fires up the crowd at the NYC rally – May 10, 2013
photo: Katherine J. Kornblau-Susskind


Dr. Cameron giving his speech at NYS Lyme Awareness Rally – May 10, 2013
Photo: Katherine J. Kornblau-Susskind

dr cameron

Vanessa with Dr Jones


Ariana shares her personal struggle with Lyme Disease at the NYC Lyme Awareness Rally in Union Square Friday 5/10/13.

Tracy Hans Speaking at the Podium
Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa


Photo Credit: Donna Baez Brunner


Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa

chrisajjPhoto by Chrysa

chrisa8Photo by Chrysa


Photo by Chrysa

There are so many touching pictures… please VISIT HERE for more pictures!

And a big THANK YOU to Vanessa Holden and her mom Rachelle for organizing one of the biggest events in Lyme activism history.

One thought on “Vanessa Holden”

  1. Vanessa Holden and mom Rachelle,

    THANK YOU both so much for what you pulled last year in NYC and the great speakers, signs, PHOTOS GALORE so we could share the event from you where in USA/INTERNATIONALLY any of us are located!

    congrats YOU deserve to be honored and then some. i listened afterwards to each presenter; very touching and a VIP lineup all the way.

    better late than never, i didn’t know WHO to think, so give yourself an extra hug to yourself and each other will you?

    keep doing what each of you have; i/others will join your efforts in the capacities each of us are capable of.

    god bless you both; may you get quality of life back again in the NEAR future.

    hugs/prayers always,

    bettyg, iowa lyme activist
    46.5 yrs. chronic lyme
    35 yrs. MISDIAGNOSED by 40-50 drs; UNACCEPTABLE

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