“I call you the tick doctor to my friends” he said to me as I was leaving the coffee shop. I smiled and waved goodbye, then got into my car as my eyes welled up with tears. 

That was Lloyd, an older gentleman in his seventies, robust and strong to outer appearances, but taken down by Lyme disease on the inside.

Every time I see him, Lloyd shares another verse in his story that is Lyme disease. I know it well because I’ve seen him often over the past year. One time it’ll be about how much better he feels when he’s on antibiotics (a classic sign that the symptoms are related to a tick-borne illness). The next it’ll be about the latest visit to his rheumatologist because his joint pain is so severe. Another will be about how his Lyme test results came back negative. Which also doesn’t surprise me, because the predominant test used is so unreliable. 

The S1657 Kay Hagan TICK Act is currently making its way through the halls of Congress. It will provide millions of dollars for desperately needed research, surveillance, and education. 

Please take two minutes to call your Senator and ask for their support. If you are a North Carolinian, you can thank Senator Burr (202-224-3154) and Senator Tillis (202-224-6342) for agreeing to sponsor the bill. It truly honors the former Senator from North Carolina to have her North Carolina colleagues and successors in the Senate cosponsor the bill. 

Please call or write now. Make the call for Lloyd, your family, your friends, and the thousands of people who suffer needlessly every day due to tick bites and the devastation they cause. Support the S1657 Kay Hagan TICK Act. We are #strongertogether. 

TBC United also needs your donations. We need funding to support our work in education, research, and advocacy. Your contributions make a huge difference. Beth and I thank you in advance for your support.

— Jennifer Platt, DrPH
Cofounder, TBC United; CEO & Founder,

Senator Kay Hagan and Dr. Jennifer Platt, December 2013.