I currently serve on the board of National Capital Lyme (NatCapLyme). I represent the Montgomery County chapter. NatCapLyme educates government officials and healthcare industry leaders about Lyme and tick-borne diseases on behalf of individuals and families of those afflicted with such diseases.
We focus on patient advocacy, education, awareness, and supporting Lyme disease grants through fundraising. Our advocacy and legislative efforts support our mission by advancing the pursuit of a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Until that cure is found and made available to all who suffer, we will work tirelessly to bring public awareness to this growing epidemic that afflicts more than 300,000 Americans each year (CDC, 2013). That’s why we were so excited we were able to contribute to the passage of the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act of 2013. NatCapLyme played a significant role in the passage of this groundbreaking bill, which makes Virginia the first state in the nation to inform patients of the limitations of current Lyme disease tests.
As the board member for the Montgomery County NatCapLyme chapter, I run the county support group located in Montgomery County. This group is open to the public and meets on the third Sunday of every month from 2:00-4:00 PM in the downstairs conference room at 14245 Shady Grove Rd, Rockville, MD.
In 2012, Dr. Daniel Jaller and I appeared in the television show, Monsters Inside Me. Dr. Jaller and I partnered together to spread awareness and advocacy about Lyme disease and co-infections.
My experience and recovery has been featured in several TV and news segments such as Delmarva news, The Washington Post, and America Online (AOL). I have been a ongoing advocate for this debilitating disease for many years.
I have experience facilitating pain management groups for the United States federal government for individuals with chronic illnesses. I used a mindfulness based technique to help members understand their illness, how to incorporate lifestyle changes per their disease, and relaxation methods to help with pain.
In 2014, Governor Martin O’Mally and Secretary of State, John McDonough, awarded me with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for all of the hard work and dedication that I put forward to help spread awareness for this disease and advocate on behalf of several Lyme disease bills.
In 2015, I partnered with the Lyme disease Association of the Eastern Shore creating a young adult support group for high school and college aged students struggling with this disease. The idea behind this group was to give young adults a safe space and an opportunity to come together to discuss how this disease impacts their lives at such a young age. In addition to the young adult group, I facilitated a group for parents with children whom have Lyme disease. This psychoeducational group helped parents understand the disease, dietary restrictions, and how to emotionally support a loved one experiencing Lyme disease.