What I'm doing:
Even though I am in the middle of fighting every day against Lyme and co-infections, I've decided to fight for others that can't. So, I am running 23 miles per day, for 18 days from my home in Cleveland to Washington D.C. to raise money (a lot of it) and awareness (hopefully even more of it). Yes, that is almost a marathon a day for 18 days straight! This is me, rolling up my sleeves, putting in the hard work, to help hundreds of thousands of people beat this thing!
What I need YOU to do:
So, please give generously to this cause, and don't forget to amplify the message on social medial and tag me on Instagram ( @polymefighter ), LinkedIn and Twitter ( @track_paul )
Just think if we can reach 100M people on these platforms and each of them only contributes $10 (the price of a couple of coffees)! Let's beat this!
Also, download TickTracker, the FREE app from LivLyme at www.ticktracker.com to help avoid this for you and your family.
Why I'm doing it:
I've joined the LivLyme Foundation (501(c)(3)), and 13 year-old Founder Olivia, to help children and find a cure for all. I'm asking you to join me by contributing here to LivLyme and post this event and my story to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach as many people as possible. It's about creating a grass-roots and community movement. Ideally, I would love to get $10 donations from 1 million people to spread the word and leverage the power of social media and the hearts of good people.
I contracted my Lyme disease during my military service (Ft. Dix NJ Basic Training) 30 years ago, but didn't show symptoms until 3 years ago when I had a shoulder repair surgery that caused me to become anemic and allowed the disease to take hold. Almost nobody with this disease can even function normally (think seizures, fevers, debilitating pain, extreme exhaustion,...), let alone attempt something like this. I'm no different. Some days it's a challenge just to get out of bed, or get through the workday, or stay up past the kid's bedtime. I searched for the cause of my sudden symptoms for 1.5 years (typical doctor to doctor maze), have been in aggressive treatment for 1.5 years and even came close to losing my life from a complication at the beginning of this year (bled 52% of my blood volume).
I get asked all the time why I conceived of and am running this solo/one-man ultra-marathon. I'm a father, a husband, a former NCAA sprinter, a former Army Reserve soldier (Combat Engineer), work full time in a good corporate job and I'm now a Lyme Warrior. At the end of the day, I have been fortunate enough to have the background, physical and mental ability, and resources to help others.
I'm doing it because I can, and should, help others. Simply put, It's not about me. Every year, over 350,000 people get Lyme disease. Almost none of them get a 'bullseye' rash or even know they were bitten by something (it's not just ticks anymore and we are finding out it can be transmitted in a myriad of ways - mosquitos, mother to child, rodents, and the list goes on). This disease is the fastest growing vector borne disease and even eclipses the new cases of HIV/AIDS. It's not for me, but for the millions of of those suffering, including children and military families, who are shouldering the burden of this debilitating disease.
Thank you so much for your help and see you out on the road!