May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

May 27, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Helping Hands, Kathy Eide Casas

by Kathy Eide Casas

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month offers a chance for Lyme patients, activists, and educators to spread information on how to prevent Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Even though tiny in nature, ticks are capable of causing gigantic health issues. Ticks are small crawling bugs in the spider family. There are hundreds of different kinds of ticks. Many of them carry bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that cause disease in humans and/or animals. The most common and most frequently overlooked is Lyme Disease. Also known as, “The Great Imitator” Lyme is often mistaken for ALS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses. Lyme symptoms can manifest as a flu-like illness. If left untreated or misdiagnosed, the symptoms can continue to worsen, ultimately resulting in a lifetime of debilitating issues.

Though many of us have heard of Lyme, it strikes us differently when we know someone who has been affected.

Introducing Jody Hudson

Alex Hudson

Jody lost her once vibrant twenty-two-year old daughter Alex in 2018 to Lyme disease after a decade-long struggle with health issues that included a string of misdiagnoses. When Alex was just eleven, she complained of her leg hurting, and with that one ailment, their ten-year journey began. In 2017, after ten years of suffering, Alex and Jody finally connected with a doctor who made the correct diagnosis of Lyme disease and the accompanying Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). By that time, it was simply too late for Alex.

Since that day in March 2018, Jody has devoted herself to making good on the promise she made to Alex during Alex’s final days: to prevent the same fate from happening to anyone else. Alex asked that her mom form a non-profit that would create advocacy for Lyme and MCAS; as a result, the Alex Hudson Lyme Foundation was born. Their Mission is to increase research efforts for Lyme disease and MCAS, while supporting patients via financial grants for their testing/treatment.

‘Through pain comes purpose’ is a mantra that Jody Hudson has come to live by

One conversation with Jody Hudson is an immediate reminder that determination, courage, and strength are many times unexpectedly discovered in places we didn’t know existed, including within our own selves. In Jody’s words, “Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.”

Each day, Jody remains dedicated to sharing Alex’s plight and to raising education and awareness of Lyme disease. In keeping the promise she made to Alex, Jody has authored the award-winning story of their journey, entitled, My Promise to Alex. Now in its fifth year, the Alex Hudson Lyme Foundation Team continues to be successful in its goal of building a strong community of Lyme disease and MCAS Ambassadors to carry out Alex’s final wishes.

Facts about Lyme:

? Lyme disease affects people of all ages but is most common in children and older adults and in people who spend time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas.

? 40% of Lyme patients spend more than $10,000 out of pocket annually for treatment and doctor costs.

? 86% of Lyme patients end up with long-term health problems due to delayed diagnosis.

? Four school buses of children a day are diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

? It only takes a few moments to learn how to help prevent tick bites.

To learn more about Alex, to educate those around you, to become familiar with prevention, or to purchase My Promise to Alex, please visit

Kathy Eide Casas is a valley native and has been involved in politics, public policy and public relations her entire career. From the U. S. and state capitols to local projects, she has been a guiding force. Most recently, Eide-Casas completed the writing for two U Turns Allowed magazines, benefiting Focus Forward. Additionally, her work has run in several other local publications, including Valley Health Magazine.


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