GLA and Erin Walker Host Inaugural Lyme Disease Awareness Event at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Thank you to everyone who supported Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday, March 2, 2019. This is the first of many events GLA will host in southern Florida.
A most sincere thanks to our hosts GLA board member Erin Walker and Jimmy Walker, as well as the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and their sponsors and patrons for sharing the beautiful facilities and treating all of us to world-class horse jumping. Erin is dedicated to helping drive awareness and the impact it can have. As an equestrian, connecting with this at-risk community is especially important. Erin’s husband, PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker was also in attendance. Erin and Jimmy shared their very personal stories living with Lyme disease, especially in content to their respective careers in the horse ring and on the golf course.
A huge thank you too to Jen Berkowitz and her husband Brad, as well as Susan Hayes, for their grassroots efforts, and Jonathan Sherry for introducing GLA to the team at the Equestrian Center and International Polo Club Palm Beach. We are grateful to the many friends of GLA that traveled to attend, including the Moresco-McKerr family, and to the many new friends we made that night. We are also appreciative of GLA chairman Rob Kobre, GLA vice chair Diane Blanchard, and board member Julia Knox-Comeau, and her husband Rich, who were also on hand to share their insight and knowledge about Lyme disease and GLA. And thanks to the event sponsor, Withersworldwide.
Lyme and tick-borne diseases are posing a greater threat to the southern states, including Florida. Cases of Lyme diseases have increased 60% over the last five years in Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida is also home to two at-risk communities; equestrians and golfers. For equestrians, ticks and Lyme can target both ends of the reins. The environment horse and rider find themselves in can be very attractive to ticks, from the barn to the field. Horses can manifest many of the same systems people do, including localized inflammation in muscles, joints, and organs. Recent studies have shown that up to 45% of horses test positive for Lyme disease in Lyme-endemic areas.
The risk to golfers is clear, as much of their day is on the golf course. While ticks can be found on the short grass, they are most likely to be in the longer grass. Golfers should ask if they really need to retrieve that ball in the rough, because odds are there are ticks lingering. Prevention is paramount for golfers, from proper repellent before play to checking for ticks afterward.
Be the first to know when we schedule our 2020 Night the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center—email events@GLA.org to receive early notification.
If you or someone you know suspects Lyme disease, please consult with a Lyme-literate physician as soon as possible. GLA can connect you with a physician in your area.
Event covered in Palm Beach press.
More about GLA and Lyme disease:
Conquering Lyme Disease Through Research, Education and Awareness
One Family’s Journey with Lyme Disease
What is Lyme Disease with Matthew Morrison