Our Day at NC Legislature

Our day at the NC Legislative Office Building is swiftly approaching.  At the beginning of the month, I was given the opportunity to share an information table.  When I sent out word to a a few group of advocates, I was quickly offered help from the North Carolina Lyme Disease Foundation. Our table will be available on Wednesday May 28th from 10am to 5pm. We will be in the OFFICE BUILDING, not the regular general assembly.IF you want to come visit at the NC LOB – here is the address, direction and links to map which include parking.Address:
NC Legislative Office Building
300 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC

http://www.ncleg.net/graphics/downtownmap.pdf

(look at “Visitor Parking” highlighted in blue)

As of right now – We have a handful of advocates manning the booth itself.   We probably have all of the volunteers we need for the booth, however – we would love for others to stop in for a bit and we are still looking for some prep help.  When you stop by, we may have an idea of how you can help right on the spot.  If you have a Lyme Awareness t-shirt, please wear it.

Some have asked how they can help – and have offered to print off “something” – One of the things that we will be passing out to visitors are the NC Department of Public Health Memo on Lyme Disease in NC.  It may be something that we actually run out of – so if you would like to print of 10 to 25 of this memo so we can have them if we run out – that would be fantastic!

Even if we don’t use them at the table on this day, it could be something we could utilize on another day.  If you print the memo off on one sheet of paper (front & back), no need to staple.  However if you print it on two sheets of paper, please staple the top left corner for ease of passing out.  Color printing is preferred since there are colorful maps on the second page of the memo, but it’s not necessary.

Here is the link for the Lyme Memo:

http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/lyme/docs/Lyme_surveillance_2014.pdf

Beth & I packaged up into small green bags, Department of Public Health Memos for Lyme & Rickettsial Diseases, Governor signed Proclamations for April & May, LDA brochures, tick cards, bookmarks and even some tick removal tools donated for this cause from IgeneX.

These will be a quick hand off of information for Legislatures on the go.  These baggies are specifically for those folks because we want to be able to have on hand the information they need to learn about Lyme.  This is our building a bridge visit.  We want them to realize that Lyme affects people in North Carolina and ultimately we would love to advocate for Legislative changes, but first we need to build the bridge of communication.

In addition to the Tri-Fold that Beth made for last year’s May event, we will have a lot of information to display including my Department of Public Health notebook which has a lot of information about Lyme Disease as it relates to North Carolina.  I picked up a new notebook for that because my old notebook was filling up, and it wasn’t all that attractive or attention grabbing.  So now the DPH information has a new home inside a green notebook.

You may be wondering how you can help with the prep work.  Well, I’m going to be over the next few days putting together a short survey for legislature, legislative staff, lobbyists, visitors – to see what they know about Lyme Disease in our state. If you have suggestions on what to put on the survey, please contact us before Monday.

You may wonder how YOU can help TODAY.  Well – I’m glad you asked.  I would love nothing more than to share your stories with the Legislatures and legislative staff and lobbyists. Who better to tell your story than you?  Well – I NEED YOUR STORIES. Share your stories with me.

 

25 stories don’t make an impact.  50 stories doesn’t even make an impact.  500 stories – now that makes an impact. I need North Carolina stories and I need t em now.  It doesn’t matter if you got Lyme in North Carolina, although that IS a bonus.  All that matters is that you live here now – and you have Lyme Disease (or were treated and are currently well).  Currently I have printed off 44 stories.

The stories I have printed off came straight to the lymeletters@gmail.com account.  I sent out an email to everyone whose letter came in that way that I have already printed off.  If you know you sent in a letter to me and did not get an email yesterday, it either means I haven’t printed yours off yet (I have about 5 to 7 more to print) or that your letter came in through a different email address and we had to forward it. The email I sent out yesterday includes this information about Wednesday the 28th as well as me begging you to get the word out for more  letters.

I would love to have a large 3 inch binder to show your stories in – right now they take up a very small part of a 1 inch binder. (honestly they’d probably take up less than 1/2 inch binder).  Picture this – I’m standing there with this huge 3 inch binder saying, “These are our stories.”  A Senator stops by and flips through and lands on YOUR story and reads it and is moved to do something.

We need one story per Lyme patient.  Are there 5 patients in your home – we need 5 stories!  How about your pets?  Do your pets have Lyme?  While pets are not related to our human health care crisis, they really are.  More than likely your pet has not traveled outside of NC (unless you moved to NC with your pet) – and if your pet got Lyme in NC – then the good chance is that you did too.  Your story, albeit complex, does not have to be long.  We are only looking for one page letter, that’s all.  It doesn’t even need to be that long.

I have business cards – lots and lots of business cards.  I will be bringing them to the NC LOB on Wednesday – I want Lyme patients to disperse them to other Lyme patients in NC – so that we can fill out up our notebook with stories to share with the Legislature – with Medical Professionals – including the Department of Public Health.  BUT – you can start writing your story now so I can print them off – and put them in a notebook – It takes a while to copy to word, print one page, turn the sheet over print another story, put into the notebook.  It is extremely helpful if you send your story in Microsoft word so I don’t have to format from the email, but it’s not a requirement.  🙂

Remember for your privacy since you never know who will see this notebook – please only use your first name or your initials.  Also – at this time – do not mention your LLMD’s name in the letter.  This is not only for their protection, but for yours as well.  Here is the information you need to guide you to writing a more effective story.

Thank you so much and we look forward to getting your STORIES.  We need them as soon as possible (so we can get them tranposed to a word document, printed up – put into plastic sleeves and into the notebook) If possible, please type up your letter into Microsoft Word and send as an attachment.  This will help save me a lot of time.

Thanks again!  I’m getting really excited about  Wednesday!

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