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SLAM announces 'Mayday'

Lyme disease support group hosting family event

SLAM teamed up with Sen. Stephen Brewer to convince Gov. Deval Patrick to name May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. From left, SLAM members Elise Provost, Trish McCleary, and Mary Lee. The group will host a Mayday Lyme Fair Sunday, May 1. (click for larger version)
April 06, 2011
STURBRIDGE — Gov. Deval Patrick officially declared May to be Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Massachusetts, and members of SLAM (Sturbridge Lyme Awareness of Massachusetts) will celebrate this proclamation with its first ever Mayday Lyme Fair on Sunday, May 1.

After attending one of the monthly Lyme disease support group meetings offered by SLAM, Sen. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) requested on behalf of SLAM that Patrick make a proclamation for May 1 to be named Lyme Disease Awareness Day. Much to the surprise and delight of SLAM members, the governor took Brewer's request a step further by proclaiming the entire month of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

"I was deeply moved by the stories of the group's members upon my visit," Brewer said. Dealing with the challenges of this illness is no easy task, and I applaud the commonwealth and SLAM for working together to raise awareness and increase education surrounding Lyme Disease."

Members of SLAM, which was founded by longtime Lyme disease sufferer Trish McCleary, distribute literature, publish articles, and make local presentations in an effort to raise awareness about the prevalence and severity of Lyme disease in this area. As a result of the group's hard work, a Lyme disease curriculum is now in place in the Tantasqua and Union 61 School District to educate students of all ages about the topic. Furthermore, an initiative spearheaded by McCleary called Ribbons Across America has become popular nationwide. As part of the initiative, Lyme disease sufferers across the country have placed lime green ribbons on the trees in their front yards and town commons during the month of May to raise awareness about the this insidious illness..

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

Janines Frostee
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