Ardee locals join forces to raise Lyme Disease awareness
An Ardee native who suffers from chronic Lyme Disease is using this weekend’s Connemara half-marathon to help raise awareness about the condition – and her Ardee-based brother is helping fundraise for the cause.
Elaine Griffin, previously of Ardee but now living on Westport, Co. Mayo, is an artist and musician and having been finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease two years ago after years of misdiagnosis, she has taken on the task of spreading the word of the condition and raising awareness throughout the country and abroad – all whilst fighting the condition herself.
The story of Elaine’s inspirational health battle with Lyme Disease has featured on numerous media outlets at home and abroad including RTE’s Joe Duffy Show. Last year, through her health battle and awareness campaign, she was nominated for Mayo’s Most Inspirational Woman of 2015 award, at a ceremony in Castlebar in January.
Elaine (pictured, above) was also invited to talk on ‘The Role of Creativity in Chronic Illness’ at the Suffering the Silence: Living Experiences of Lyme Disease & Chronic Illness conference in London last October, where she also performed a number of her songs including her Lyme Disease awareness raising single “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.
Elaine has experienced ongoing health problems since age 18 and was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease in 2014 after 24 years of misdiagnosis. Lyme Disease is caused by the spirochetal bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi which can manifest symptoms throughout the human bodies’ organs, skeletal and muscular systems and the central nervous system.
Lyme Disease is a Tick-Borne disease transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected tick. Since her diagnosis she has made huge progress with her health thanks to treatment in the USA, funded mainly by donations from family, friends and generous members of the public who have kindly sponsored various fundraising initiatives held over the last two years.
However, Elaine’s Lyme Disease is chronic and her treatment is ongoing and costly. This summer, she will set off to undergo further treatment in California. It is to help fund this upcoming treatment that Elaine’s brother Patrick Griffin along with work colleagues Brenda Irwin and Cariosa Walsh, will be running the Connemara half-marathon this coming Sunday April 10th and they are currently seeking sponsorship.
To sponsor the three participants on behalf of the Elaine Fights Lyme campaign, you can log onto Elaine’s Fundrazr page which has been reactivated for the half-marathon run. Go to Elaine’s website – http://www.elainefightslyme.com and click ‘Donate’.
Alternatively, if you’re in Ardee, Patrick Griffin will be collecting sponsorship and donations in Super Valu in the town on Saturday April 16th.
Over the past few months, Elaine has been collaborating with the organisers of the event to use the opportunity to raise awareness of Lyme Disease among the jogging community, who are considered high risk. To that end, she has designed a specific prevention flyer especially for joggers and will be handing these out to runners at the finish line to make them more aware of the risks and precautions they should take.
All sponsors of the three runners in the half-marathon will be entered into a draw for a three day family camping pitch and pass & One Day Pirate Pass to Westport House & Adventure Park (for family of four valid until end of August 2016) with the voucher kindly donated by Westport House. The draw will take place on May 7th and result will be posted on Elaine Fights Lyme Facebook page.