HOW TO CREATE A LYME AWARENESS PROCLAMATION
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. This is a great time to raise awareness in your area, asking your local or state government to create a proclamation.
During this time we have an opportunity to educate local officials on how much Lyme Disease is affecting their constituents. Issuing a proclamation is a newsworthy event, and could help garner news coverage in your area. We recommend sharing a picture of you and your official holding the proclamation on social media.
If you would like to do this in your area, the following guide will help you through the process of creating a proclamation. (State governments usually require a lead time of several months—so mark it on your calendar for next year. However, local governments typically have a shorter lead time.) (via lymedisease.org)
The Simple 4-Step Process on How To Do a Proclamation
Create: Write an outline of what you would like the proclamation to say. Include facts that pertain to your city, county or state.
Call: Contact your mayor, city manager, county supervisor, or other official’s office and find out their specific process for issuing proclamations. Let them know you want to request one naming the month of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Find out the names of officials and the appropriate contact information for submitting your proposal.
Schedule: Ask to have the signing of your proclamation put on the agenda. (This may require a lead time of 2 to 5 weeks.) Get a photograph of you holding the proclamation with the official.
Publicize: Post the photograph of you and your proclamation on social media explaining how you became interested in Lyme disease and why you are educating others.
Outline: How to Write a Proclamation
Title: Lyme Disease Awareness Month
Write Reasoning Statements: List 4-8 reasons behind your proclamation. Keep it at a high school reading level and limit it to one legal-sized piece of paper. Start each statement with “Whereas,” followed by the reason. (click here for Lyme Facts)
Write the Proclamation Statement: Explain what you are proclaiming, based on the above-listed reasons. Start the sentence with “Now, therefore.” It should be written in the first person.
Add A Personal Invitation: After the proclamation statement, personally invite readers to support and participate in your proclamation.
The Official will sign and date the document
Sample for Texas:
WHEREAS: Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and is found in 45% of the common black-legged deer ticks in Texas which transmit the disease; and
WHEREAS: The risk of contracting Lyme disease can be year-round, and tick bites are nearly painless, with fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease able to recall a tick bite and fewer than 50% reporting a “bull’s-eye” rash. Nymphal ticks can be as small as a poppy seed; and
WHEREAS: Lyme disease is a complex, multi-system illness which if caught early can be easily treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, can invade the nervous system, heart and multiple organs of the body causing years of pain, suffering, severe disability, and even death; it can manifest as arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders; and
WHEREAS: Ticks that carry Lyme disease can also carry at least 15 other pathogens, many of them transmitted within minutes of being bitten, with one tick bite frequently resulting in multiple infections including bacteria, parasites, and viruses which can all be potentially fatal;
WHEREAS: Lyme disease is an underreported illness, therefore the actual number of people with Lyme disease in Texas is likely 10 times the reported number of cases, (insert a few facts about tick borne diseases in your state here)
WHEREAS: Lyme disease infects more than 300,000 people annually in the United States, yet testing for Lyme disease remains only 50% accurate, with the average patient going two or more years before getting a proper diagnosis. Since most doctors in Texas are not adequately trained in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating Lyme, patients have to travel out of state for treatment with a Lyme specialist;
WHEREAS: New science as well as treatment and testing guidelines have been released from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Guidelines Clearinghouse, and yet doctors in Texas are still following the outdated and flawed IDSA guidelines for Lyme disease. If this were corrected, a lot of the above issues would be resolved quickly.
WHEREAS: The Texas Lyme Coalition, the Texas Lyme Disease Association and the NTX Lyme Group have provided advocacy for patients since 1999, and have seen alarming numbers of patients seeking support; and work to educate the public about the signs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of Lyme disease;
I, (Government official’s name), do hereby proclaim, May 2018 as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in (Your town).
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of ______ to be affixed this 1st Day of May in the Year Two Thousand Eighteen
(Government Officials Name), Mayor, City of ________