May is Lyme disease Awareness Month and Jennifer Reid, like many other homeowners, never thought she and her family would become victims of this debilitating disease. It took almost a year for Jennifer and her oldest daughter to be correctly diagnosed with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a black-legged tick carrying the disease.
Their symptoms varied from aches and exhaustion to changes in demeanor to even more serious neurological complications, including decreased concentration, memory loss and sleep disorders. Even now, more than 10 years after the diagnosis, one of her daughters still feels the effects. Many don’t understand the risks Lyme can have and the chance it brings of becoming a chronic disease with possible life-long implications.
“In our family, Lyme disease had a very serious medical impact on three out of five members – two of my daughters and myself,” Jennifer said. “While I thought I understood what Lyme disease was before this experience, I came to realize this illness has consequences far beyond anything I could imagine.”
Today, Jennifer focuses her life on spreading awareness about Lyme disease and works to inform her local Connecticut community about prevention methods. She is a proud co-founder of the Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force where she works to make a difference in other families’ lives.
To hear more about Jennifer’s story, check out this video. For additional information on how to protect your family from Lyme disease follow us on Twitter @DebugtheMyths or visit Connecticut Department of Public Health’s BLAST Lyme disease Prevention Program.