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'It's a beautiful thing': Inaugural Lyme Disease Walk brings people together

Lyme Disease Awareness Community Walk participants included(back row, from left) Jill Magee, Judy Larson, Judy Crowley, Dale Crowley, Chris Larson (front) Shad Gausmann, Jackson Magee, Kathy Allen, Owen, Clint and Annika Crowley. Submitted photo

Though the day dawned cold, wet and gray, a group of people still gathered at Heritage Park Saturday, May 18, to walk the White Pathway.

"The weather didn't stop us - we will keep growing," said organizer Kathy Allen.

Those gathered were there to join in the inaugural Lyme Disease Awareness Community Walk—a success, according to Allen, who organized and hosted the event with Jill Magee.

"A great group" turned up for the event, Allen said, despite the weather.

"We shared stories of our journeys of ups and downs and what successes we've had against the disease," allen said. "Community support and awareness is key in healing. Lyme disease is tough because one day you'll feel fine and then the next could be horrible; often we have no control over how our body will be or react to things so we have to take things day by day."

Allen noted the story of one participant who came from Wilson, Wis.

"He has been struggling with Lyme for a long time but is finally feeling like he is making progress," Allen said. "He brought his whole team with him."

That included his wife, son, parents and in-laws, Allen said.

A local participant who has had Lyme for many years came to the event, but was unable to walk.

"We want to create a community in the St. Croix area that supports, lifts up and cares for people," said Allen. "I want to create a fun summer activity that involves the whole family - such as boating down the St. Croix River. We need more fun in our lives."

Allen said she and others at the walk discussed inviting speakers to come for educational events, and creating a Facebook page to keep in touch.

"It's a beautiful thing when community joins together in positive action," Allen said.

For more information about the Lyme support group, call Allen at 715 821-0894

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(651) 301-7849
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