Archive of ‘Lyme Rally’ category

Let’s Talk About Lyme ~ Awareness Event

If you hike, bike, garden, play outdoors with pets or kids, this event is for you!

I’m really pumped to invite you all to our local Lyme Disease Awareness month event: Let’s Talk About Lyme. If you call Victoria, BC, Canada home, or are close by or visiting we would love to share an afternoon of uplifting stories, hope and awareness. This is the event I wish I’d gone to before I got sick! 
We have some amazing speakers lined up (The MP’s Elizabeth May & Murray Rankin, and Jim Wilson of CanLyme will be there! And some seriously cool activists – like Gwen Barlee…and Lyme disease patients. I will be speaking as well!). 

Saturday, May 10th from 12:00 pm- 3:00 pm
At the Fairfield Community Place, 1335 Thurlow Road, Victoria, BC Canada (behind Moss St. Market!)

Invite your friends, family and neighbours and local groups. Check out our Facebook Event, and share and invite to your heart’s content!

Want to help out? We’re looking for volunteers to help set up & take-down, and help with kids craft (we’re making modelling clay ticks! and doing a faux-tick drag for kids…and there is a colouring table…just saying…it’ll be a blast.). If you’d like to help out, please email me for more information @

feel free to share the poster with friends, family, neighbours, co-workers…everyone. let’s stay safe this tick season.

Lyme-infected ticks are here on Vancouver Island! Join us for an afternoon awareness & prevention event featuring awesome children’s activities, amazing guest speakers, prevention and awareness booths and videos, and speak with local health care practitioners.

See you on on the 10th of May!

Ps: Visit the Victoria Lyme Disease Awareness & Support Group’s website at:

World Lyme Day Celebrations: Victoria BC

May 11th was the first international World Lyme Day Celebration! There were rallies in over 25 countries, including Victoria, BC (we’re the capital of the province!). There were so many people there, who’d come from as far away as the interior BC just to be at this event. It was so amazing to meet all the Lymies (people with Lyme) that’d I’d only ever communicated with electronically! Elizabeth May, Lana Popham, Murray Rankin, and David Cubberly spoke about the changes their trying to create, and Emily (who’s dad is very sick), Avery & Shannon(mother/daughter), and I spoke about how Lyme impacted our lives, and about having Lyme disease in Canada. Many other patients got to share their stories, poems and experiences…it was a very cool experience for us all. 

Lyme Disease patients, and their friends and family

There was such a positive energy running through the group…it feels like we are all coming together to create positive change, which is so cool! Here’s my speech, below:

Thank you so much for being here today. When I realized I was too sick to walk, I thought I’d be in a wheelchair for a few weeks, until we figured out my ‘mystery illness’. 5 years of therapy later, I’m still rolling along. Breathing problems and increased headaches began in grade 8, escalating gradually ’til in 2008 I began feeling fatigued, and experiencing worsening joint pain, nausea, confusion, memory problems and all over body pain. We made the rounds to the offices of many specialists, none of whom could figure out why I went from being a healthy, active teenager to a girl barely able to walk or function. I was tested and retested for what felt like everything. In desperation, my mum researched what could possibly be ailing me. Turns out I had most of the classic symptoms of Lyme disease, and yet each doctor we went to assured us I couldn’t have Lyme.  Like so many other Canadians, I had a negative test result, which for my physicians completely ruled out Lyme disease. Versus making a clinical diagnosis, most doctors rely on a flawed lab test to diagnose Lyme disease. As a direct result of this failure to diagnose me, I’ve been fighting for my life for the past 5 years. If someone is diagnosed and treated immediately, just a few weeks of antibiotics should see them returned to health. Sadly, my story is like thousands of others across the country, who trusted the medical system to get to the bottom of what was ailing us, and were let down. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to seek the guidance of four leading experts in the US. Our family home was sold, bank accounts and lifesavings drained. Friends, family and strangers donated at fundraisers in order to fund my treatment outside the country, which isn’t covered by our provincial health care plan. To this day I still have no diagnosis in Canada, and I continue to be treated in the US.

I spoke and attended the 2009 rally on these same steps. I can’t help asking myself what’s changed in 4 years? When  first became ill, most people we met had no idea what ‘Lyme Disease’ was. Now when we meet people, most everyone has heard of Lyme disease, even if they didn’t know it could be so debilitating. This broader awareness is thanks to us; the patients and their families and friends, the reporters who’ve featured stories of the lives changed by this infection, the politics surrounding it and the politicians fighting for change, like those here today. 

When I found out I had Lyme Disease in 2008, I made myself a promise that I would do everything in my power to prevent other people from having to go through what I did. 
I envision a day when the diagnosis of Lyme Disease evolves to the point that a patient with a tick bite would be preemptively treated, instead of being told it was probably a spider bite, or to come back if they developed symptoms. 
I envision a day when doctors receive the education critical to clinically diagnose Lyme Disease, versus relying on the flawed testing available in Canada. 
I envision a day when doctors are free to treat patients as they see fit, and not be limited by outdated treatment “guidelines”. We have seen too many doctors driven out of practice.
 I envision a day when Lyme Disease would be explored as a possible diagnosis long before the patient was left with a ‘mystery disease’ label. 

What Lyme patients need now is compassion and assistance, not dismissal and denial. There is an opportunity, with the National Lyme Disease Strategy Bill, for medical professionals, patients, and advocates to have a crucial conversation, address issues and formulate concrete solutions. I am asking our elected officials to debate this issue and begin creating solutions that would benefit all Canadians. We patients are too sick to create these changes on our own, and we need your help. 

I imagine a time when a simple, reliable test and effective treatment for Lyme Disease will be available for all Canadians. I envision a future where Lyme disease is no big deal, and never allowed to become a chronic, debilitating infection, as has happened to so many. 

The future of Lyme disease and tick borne infections in Canada is at a turning point. Behind us, we have decades of suffering and a lack of knowledge. Ahead of us, global warming and human encroachment of wildlife habitat will lead to an explosion of ticks and Lyme disease outbreaks. 

We’ve got a lot of work to do, and a mission to drive us and hope to keep fighting for. Let’s get started! ~

May is Lyme Disease awareness month, and ticks are in the nymphal stage at the moment, and are very small, and almost impossible to see when they are on your body (or biting you). This is the time to investigate natural bug repellants (I use TickTock‘s tick repellant), to tuck your pants into your socks (I know…so sexy!) and to wear light colored clothing when you’re outside. Stay away from tall grass, keep to the middle of the path, and check your pets, yourself and kids for ticks regularly!
We are going to Ottawa later in the month to speak to as many MP’s (Members of Parliament…like Congressmen, for you Americans) as possible about supporting Elizabeth May’s Lyme Disease Strategy Bill. It’s going to be a very busy few weeks, but I’m excited about this opportunity. Most of my extended family lives in Ontario, so we will be visiting with them too. Yay!

Lyme Rally Speech

This is the speech that I gave at the Lyme Rally at the other day! Of course, cause I couldn’t memorize it *duh* I had to write it out ahead of time and read the speech, which I always hate doing. It feels like…cheating or something. But I think I still managed to speak from the heart. Enjoy!

(September 17, 2009)

Hello. My name is Nicole Bottles, and I too have Lyme Disease. More than a year ago I was just a typical teenager. In the space of a few short months I was no longer able to walk, remember things, go to school, or live in a way that could be conceived as tolerable, or acceptable. Imagine my dismay, that after seeing eight specialists and being tested for what felt like everything, doctors still had no idea what was wrong with me. Even though my mom brought up Lyme disease often, it was quickly discounted. I was ‘too complicated’ to have Lyme disease.

If getting a diagnosis in Canada is hard, it is impossible to get treated. I spent the past year in the United States, getting the drugs and care that I should have by right, been able to obtain here.

I wish my case was ‘one-of-a-kind’ and rare. But there are far too many people sick with Lyme Disease now for health agencies and government believe otherwise.

I am angry, and you should be too. Lyme disease is no longer just an East Coast problem. It isn’t just in the United States. Ticks don’t wait in long lines with their passports to cross the border. Lyme infected ticks exist in BC and across Canada, and to suggest otherwise is just avoiding a widely known and accepted truth. Lyme infected ticks are no longer just a thing in off-road parks, deep in the forest. They are in your gardens, on your pets, and your city sidewalks. Even on grounds of the Legislature you could find them! So politicians, it is time that you begin to wonder why nothing is being done, and it is time to act. We need your help. In our own country, with our universal health care, why are we being left behind? Forgive me for sounding like a child, but why aren’t you, the medical establishment, doing more? Don’t you care? If I was your child, or niece or sister, would you let me down the way you have let us all down? There are thousands of Canadians suffering with Lyme Disease. The ridiculous, ‘old school’ protocol now in place for Lyme disease treatment is a joke. It doesn’t help those who need it most; the people who were not diagnosed. The ignorant, blind-eyed approach that most doctors have is clearly not working.

It shouldn’t be this hard to get well. I’m too sick to be fighting, not only the disease, but the bureaucracy to get back to my old life.
My request is simple, but the task is much harder. Simply, doctors need to be educated. Patients need to be diagnosed and we need to be treated.
Are Canadians ready to ask for what is necessary?
Do you see what we’re up against?
Cause I do. I’m feeling it in my bones.
To those who still don’t believe that Lyme disease is an epidemic that causes multi-organ damage, I would say ‘bite me’, but, gosh, believe it or not, something already did.
We are a group of ill-defined patients, literally, our lives defined by an illness that is as yet to be acknowledged in Canada. We need bridges to health not roadblocks.

As we continue to demand support, those suffering with Lyme disease please remember this quote by Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Lyme Rally!

I am VERY tired. I haven’t been quite this tired in a seriously long time. I got up at the ungodly hour of 8 ish…I shouldn’t have bothering going alseep for such a short amount of time. I am usually pretty good in the morning, I wake up quickly and can get going, but I felt a little sluggish. Today was the Lyme Disease Rally at the Legislative Building, downtown, Victoria. There was ALOT of lime green color around, and alot of people! So many sick people in one place…its horrible so many people are sick. I got to meet alot of people that I had aparently heard of before, and tons of new people. Several MLA’s (John Horgan, Lana Popham, Doug Routley: thank you so much for supporting us!) were there, which is wonderful to see! Finally, political action! Its tiring meeting new people, for me, and also makes me very anxious for some reason, when before I usually had no problem with it.

I made a speech, aparently! It went well, so they say, hopefully I got my point across. Hopefully finally someone will listen. A far off hope? The ex-MLA David Cubberly EMCEE’d the whole thing and was very well spoken and passionate about helping people. I’m glad he’s on our side, and not theirs!

I can’t really think too clearly, I’m too tired and sick feeling today. I gave an interview though, with two people, which was sort of exciting I suppose. I’m just glad that it might mean a few more people hear about Lyme disease, and if I can convince them that we need changes to be made, and they can learn a little…is all I could want. Its worth it to do anything to make sure other people don’t have to suffer like this.

After the protest, I went to my school (yay!) and discussed with my principle about me getting back to school and the classes I want to take. I think I can start next week! I’m very excited! Cheers to the future!

Painting Posters

Today, I went with my mom to someone in the Lyme group’s house and we painted signs for the rally tomorrow! There were alot of other people there helping, many of whom were sick. Its frusterating, seeing how many people are sick, how many people cant get care. Everone has their own ‘Lyme Horror Story’. I painted alot of signs and now I am very tired myself. I feel extra sick this week.

They say I am going to speak, which I am a little nervous about. I can’t really practice a speech even because I will just constantly forget it, but no worries. Spare of the moment adds some zest don’t you think!?

The other day I met two of my friends for bubble tea downtown. Now for those of you yet to experience the wonders of bubble tea, I will here try to describe it: it is tea (obvs) with fruit juice or flavor added, with little balls of tapioca floating in it, which are blackish/brownish and kind of look like fish eggs, and have the consistancy of gummy bears, and topped with icecubes. Despite this less-than-apetizing description, it is DELICIOUS and the combination works. Its one of those things that you either love or hate! My favorite flavor is summer soother; green tea, lemon, honey! I saw so many people that I knew that day, and two of them joined our table later. It was so much fun. Bubble tea makes a day brighter!

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