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Westport runs for the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance

Emily Wolfe

On April 6, 2014 the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) held a run/walk at Sherwood Island State Park. One hundred ninety-five people attended, of that 128 ran and 67 walked. Overall, they were able to raise over $20,000 which will go towards research for tick-borne disease prevention and cures.

The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance is a national organization dedicated to raising awareness and supporting research to find a cure for tick-borne diseases, including Lyme Disease.

Orna Grand, the head organizer for the annual Westport TBDA run/walk, originally joined this organization six years ago, after experiencing the struggle of a tick-borne illness firsthand. She was bitten by a tick in 2002 and was not diagnosed until six months later. According to Grand, the main obstacle in the prevention of tick-borne diseases is the lack of early and accurate diagnoses.

“Having experienced running from doctor to doctor and not getting diagnosed, I wanted to help others find an easier path,” Grand said. “Prevention, early diagnosis and physician education are the keys to hopefully eradicating this disease.”

Many Staples students have gotten involved with this organization as well by volunteering their time to support this quest for new pathways of prevention.

George Ingber ’14, a member of the Staples Service League of Boys (SLOBS), said that he has volunteered at this event for the past couple of years, and it has continuously impacted his view of these diseases.

“There were a ton of people who shared personal anecdotes about their experiences with tick-borne diseases,” Ingber ’14 said. “It really made me realize how prevalent the issue is—something I wasn’t aware of beforehand.”

The TBDA plans to continue raising awareness and working towards ultimately finding a reliable diagnostic process.

“Left misdiagnosed or untreated, tick-borne diseases can cause debilitating effects where some people are physically incapacitated,” Grand said. “It is crucial that we find a more accurate diagnostic tool.”

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About the Contributor
Emily Wolfe
Emily Wolfe, A&E Editor
Emily Wolfe ’15 personifies the word creative. In addition to playing multiple instruments, Wolfe sees her role as an A&E editor as yet another expression of her creativity. Playing violin, piano, and teaching herself guitar, it’s no wonder she loves the creative freedom of writing and editing for Inklings. Wolfe’s interest in Inklings started when she decided to make graphics for the paper after going to one of the after-school meetings for people who want to contribute their artistic abilities to the paper. As soon as she started making graphics, she decided that it was her calling to write for Inklings. It is evident that Wolfe’s passion for music translates to her passion for English and writing for Inklings. It’s all about creative freedom.  In music, the notes and chords come together to make a beautiful piece.  The same holds true for editing. All of the articles and pictures come together to make an entertaining and informative news source for the community at Staples and beyond. Not only does she feel that Inklings gives her the opportunity to express her creative side, she loves being able to learn more about her peers. “I like how we get to work with other people” she said. Wolfe believes that the interviewing process is a great way to get to know the community of Staples High School. Wolfe is ready for more creative and challenging assignments writing and editing for Inklings.“Inklings is just a fun way for me to be creative,” Wolfe said.

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