When you push people too far, they will push back even when they can barely stand.
Lyme Warrior is a nonprofit organization founded by Lyme patient, Lauren Lovejoy. Lauren worked full time, went to graduate school and spent many hours at the gym, when something horrible got under her skin. It took Lauren years to finally get an accurate diagnosis for her symptoms that left her mostly bed-bound. Common everyday tasks like standing to cook were impossible for this once self-described workaholic. Despite her debilitating symptoms, she decided to start a nonprofit and turn the tide on this epidemic disease no one knew anything about.
Lyme Warrior was born to raise awareness and funding for research for Chronic Lyme disease. Lauren wanted to help prevent others from suffering as she had and still does and most importantly find a cure. Lyme Warrior is comprised of a team of similarly ill volunteers, all with differing degrees of disability from chronic Lyme disease and they are located all across the country. This team has banded together to combat a disease that continues to tax them and control a huge portion of their lives, refusing to be defined by their disease.
In February 2017, Lauren orchestrated a hugely successful awareness and fundraising campaign. Ink to End Lyme brought together the amazing talent of tattoo artists from around the country to work together for the cause. Tattoo shops and artists donated a day to Lyme Warrior while also educating about the disease and Lyme Warrior's mission. Ink to End Lyme raised $10,000 dollars for leading Chronic Lyme researchers and more importantly raised awareness for this devastating disease. All organization and events happened while Lauren was confined to her house because of debilitating symptoms. Another Ink to End Lyme campaign is being planned for 2018.
While the main goal is funding research, Lyme Warrior also supports their community. LW sends out Kids’ Smile Boxes to children suffering from Lyme disease multiple times a year. This past June, Lyme Warrior was able to send 50 boxes to kids around the country, bringing them to a total of 90 boxes sent in their first year on an extremely tight budget. Boxes are filled with games, books, toys and awareness items to help the young “warriors” feel support and know they are not alone in their fight. Many of the recipients were inspired to spread awareness themselves and give back to Smile Boxes for future recipients, reminding us that one good deed can create a ripple.
These are just two of the many efforts Lyme Warrior makes to spread awareness and raise funding for a significantly underfunded and dismissed disease. This team continues to expand and is always seeking ways to empower both Lyme Warriors and the families and loved ones that care for them, often in the face of their many personal and debilitating health issues.
Lyme Warrior intends to make big changes moving forward for awareness, research, and the future of Chronic Lyme disease around the world, against all odds and against all symptoms.