Kate Wood Speech: "Lyme disease - from a patient and practioner perspective" at the Worldwide Lyme Awareness Protest Sydney Event - May 10th 2013
Unfortunately Dr Kate Wood was unable to make the protest event due to becoming very ill the week of the event.
An introduction to Kate and her husband.
Kate and her husband Nick own and run a group of multi disciplinary
natural health care clinics across Sydney. Their clinics are extremely holistic and over the last 10 years they
have worked hard to build a team of over 60 health care practitioners across 6
clinics in fields including chiropractic, physiotherapy, kinesiology,
nutrition, naturopathy, life coaching, massage, beauty therapy, bowen therapy,
cranio-sacral therapy, hypnotherapy, yoga, pilates and counseling . They are
continuing to expand and grow and share their healing touch.
To read Kate's speech please see below. The speech is also available in a downloadable PDF file (opposite) for those that would prefer alternative format.
Kate Wood’s Speech – Worldwide Lyme Protest – Sydney Event: May 10th
Lyme disease is very close our hearts as both my husband and I have it. I have
been a very healthy and active person my whole life, so have found my Lyme
journey, in particular the last 8 months, very challenging both personally and
professionally. Our healing journey has led us through many obstacles, and
opened our eyes to a whole new world of people suffering. We are motivated to
help ourselves and with this comes a new passion to share our knowledge and
expertise with our fellow healthcare professionals and with you - fellow Lyme
We have started Lyme Disease Support Workshops once a fortnight at our
Mona Vale clinic, where Lyme sufferers and their support network can come to be
supported emotionally with people who understand what they are going through,
and by our Lyme literate practitioners who provide free talks and treatments to
support your healing.
I’m not big on crowds
when I’m at my best, so to think about talking in a protest like today, is a
big step for me. It’s a step I have taken because we have to be heard and get
Lyme disease recognised, so people can be diagnosed and treated efficiently and
We live in a country
where equal rights are promoted. What about the rights of Australians to be
diagnosed and treated properly for Lyme Disease?
Every day I get emails
from people, saying that after they read articles I have written, they have visited
their local GP who totally ignored them, or worse, ridiculed them.
Just recently, I spoke
with an 82 year old lady who asked her GP to test her for Lyme disease and he
marched her out the front door and told her never to come back. This appalls
me, as my journey has been very hard, even though I have been lucky enough to
have the support of a wonderful GP, a great family network, an unbelievable
team of health professionals helping me every step of the way with treatment,
and unwavering support and love from my husband.
My hat goes off to anyone out there who is running this road alone. I
want you to know that you aren’t alone and with every ounce of energy that I
have left I will continue to push the boundaries, ask questions that need to be
asked, and use my 6 clinics as havens and support centres for each and every
one of you should you need that.
There is a lot of money
pumped into research and treatment of health issues such as cancer, heart
disease and diabetes. While these diseases are devastating and should
absolutely have funding, did you know that each of these can have huge
lifestyle factors involved? Often these health concerns could be prevented with
simple lifestyle changes.
Lyme disease is NOT
discriminatory and it is a global problem - did you know ticks have been found
on every continent in the world?
Yes, you could avoid
known tick-infested areas, protect yourself when in bushy areas with
repellants, and wearing long light clothing and know how to quickly and safely
remove a tick once attached, but that is as close as it goes to preventing Lyme
Look at me - I grew up in north west NSW where I got a tick bite at age
16 in an area where ticks supposedly don't exist, let alone with Lyme disease.
Unlucky? Maybe.... but it seems then there are a lot of “unlucky” people in
Australia. If Lyme disease were to be recognised as a “notifiable” disease,
then the chance of people being diagnosed in the acute phase would increase and
therefore prevent a lot of needless suffering.
Lyme disease is being
predicted as the biggest epidemic of the 21st century. Why is no one listening?
Why is there ignorance? Why do people have to suffer needlessly?
Everyone has a voice. A
single voice can be hard to hear, but many voices start to make a impact. I
hope we don’t have to wait until someone in the Government or high up with a
more prominent voice to be affected by Lyme disease, before important issues
are addressed and changes implemented?
What if it was you or
your mum or your child that had fatigue so extreme that they couldn’t get out
of bed, or walk, or talk, or eat without assistance? Or even died? Would that
then change your voice on this matter? The power of one person to join many and
make one big change is possible. That is what each and every one of you are
doing today so thank you.
Lyme disease, as each of
you know, is not just a physical and emotional journey, but also a huge
financial burden. Please involve your family and friends in your journey so
they can help you and your fellow Lymies.
Please be generous in
donating to charities such as the Karl McManus Foundation and Lyme Disease
Association of Australia, so that precious research can continue in order to
support our cause. If people want to help, get them to run a fundraiser for one
of these great charities as this indirectly helps everyone. The sooner we get
Lyme disease recognised in Australia, the sooner we can live the life we were
meant to live - a long happy, quality one.
If Lyme disease is not
recognised then at some stage EVERYONE will be affected either directly or
indirectly. Without recognition in Australia, doctors won’t get the training
they need to diagnose and treat Lyme disease, and patients will continue to
struggle to afford treatment.
And if preliminary
research is correct then Lyme Disease will become an epidemic as it will spread
via sexual contact, placenta and even saliva. Help us help everyone.
Thank you for your time
and I look forward to seeing the future Lyme-free. Peace be with you all.