Lyme disease UK: Tackling a real knowledge gap
Ever been bitten by a tick? This vital charity raises awareness about the tick-borne disease that affects thousands in the UK alone and often goes undiagnosed.
A charity close to the hearts of the Wonderful team, Lyme Disease UK works to improve knowledge among the public as well as medical professionals so that Lyme disease can be more widely recognised and treated as effectively as possible.
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Public Health England figures estimate 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease per year, but a lack of awareness and and education about the disease means the real figure is likely much higher.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria (Borrelia), which can be transmitted to humans via ticks. Ticks are very small, spider-like insects which live throughout the UK in woodlands, grassy areas and even urban parks and gardens. If diagnosed early, Lyme disease can be easy to treat. However, many complications (and up to 70 different symptoms) can occur if the infection is not treated.
People with Lyme disease can develop malaise (a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease), flu-like symptoms, soreness and achiness, light and noise sensitivity, cognitive problems, fatigue, and other issues.
Lyme Disease UK
Founded in 2013 by Lyme disease patients Louise Dean and Natasha Metcalf, the charity runs various group projects, campaigns, and produces resources for patients and medical professionals - all to ensure that more people take preventative measures and get diagnosed correctly if affected by Lyme Disease. The charity has also participated in the Independent Government Reviews on Lyme Disease.
Kieron's 26 in the city
Carmen James, Product Manager at Wonderful, her sister Gabi and mother Elisa have themselves been affected by Lyme Disease. For Carmen, this lead to further life-threatening health complications and a very difficult time for her and her family. After a very late diagnosis, Lyme Disease UK provided critical support:
"Lyme Disease UK really turned things around for me. I was able to reach out to them for help and advice. They made me feel heard and like I wasn't alone. I joined their online forum where I met thousands of other people just like me in the UK. A part of me felt very sad that so many of us had been left to suffer and navigate this mess alone. But another great part of me felt solace in knowing that we were an extremely driven community, finding solutions to the problem. Lyme Disease can be a terrifying and debilitating illness for sure, but it doesn't have to be like that forever. There are so many things that can help out there, and Lyme Disease UK offered me so much hope and helped me see there was a light at what had felt like the never-ending tunnel." - Carmen James, Product Manager at Wonderful
This November, Wonderful founder Kieron James has dusted off his running shoes and will be pounding the pavements of New York in support of Lyme Disease UK. Kieron is currently training hard to show his commitment to this vital cause and raise awareness within his own network about the dangers of Lyme disease.
Head to Kieron's fundraising page to see how his training is getting on:
This May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month - a time where everyone can help to raise awareness of Lyme disease, its causes and the need for effective diagnosis. Why not share this campaign with your networks to give it an extra boost!
Stay informed about Lyme Disease
Follow Lyme Disease UK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for useful information and advice about preventing and dealing with Lyme disease in the UK.
If you've been affected by Lyme disease and need support, visit the charity's website. If you'd like to fundraise yourself to support this wonderful charity, register as a fundraiser now.