On the 24th Of October 2012 three countries Joined Facebook to spread the word about protesting for Lyme Awareness. These were: Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
The Swedish organiser, Charlotte Therese Björnström, saw the need of thousands of people suffering around the world, and had a dream to take the action much further than the Scandinavian borders. From this initial idea, the Worldwide Protest Main Facebook Page was developed on the 31st of October, 2012 in order to connect people from all over the world to see if this dream could be realised.
From Charlotte's initial "grass roots" initiative, representatives from countries all around the world have joined in, with the United States representative Lisa Hilton and the Australian representative Karen Smith joining to help Charlotte ensure her vision was fulfilled, with the development of an international blog and assisting with keeping up to date with all the participating countries and their events.
Country representatives, Karen Smith (Australia), Marlene Ziehl Spies (Canada), Marjatta Vuori (Finland), Jenny O’Dea (Ireland), Maj-Britt Marie Grevstad (Norway), Charlotte Therese Björnström (Sweden), Nicola Seal (United Kingdom), Lisa Hilton (United States), and all the other representatives that would prefer to keep their name private, as well as all associated country coordinators and event organisers have worked tirelessly for a number of months to ensure that the first “Worldwide Lyme Protest” achieves its purpose: To highlight the fact that there are thousands of people all around the world that are calling for recognition that Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are serious illnesses that require urgent attention.
WWLP - Australia Joins See below for information on other countries joining up
Australia was signed up for participation in the Worldwide Lyme Protest by Lyme patient and advocate Karen Smith on the 3rd of November 2012, making it the 8th country to join the event. After congratulating Australia on its involvement, fellow Lyme patient Janice Foster’s enthusiasm was quickly embraced, and she was asked to join Karen as a national co-ordinator.
Around Australia many people volunteered their time for this cause, resulting in over a dozen large events planned in six states, as well as numerous smaller awareness events.
In February 2013, Sharon Whiteman, President of the Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA) was approached for involvement. The LDAA committee confirmed support of the WWLP-Australia events in March and provided invaluable assistance through activity such as the co-creation and funding of Lyme awareness pamphlets and posters for the events.
Countries participating In the Worldwide Lyme Protest: Listed below in the order of joining. Along with the date of joining, Information also includes: International Representatives and additional Country Information. Ie: Facebook Link to Country page and Associated Websites.
Please Note: The number of countries listed as participating in the inaugural Worldwide Lyme Protest varies from the 28 countries (as listed opposite in Green) to 30. This variation in the numbers appears to be due to the fact that not all Country representatives received the notification that Faroe Islands and Argentina were unable to participate: Faroe Islands had to withdraw from planning/participation due to the country representative becoming too ill. Also, whilst a representative from Argentina made enquires in April 2013, ultimately they decided there was not enough time to participate in the 2013 event.
France:To contact the Country Representative/Co-ordinator email: <email@example.com> or see the Country Facebook Page and France Lyme Website (France originally joined in November, though had to withdraw due to health. We were pleased to report another French Lyme advocate was able to take up the reins, and France Lyme rejoined the Worldwide protest again on the 3rd of April)