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Claim Your Voice Project

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 Reprinted from Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires with the kind permission of Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires. To read the original article, click here.
When confronted with a serious chronic illness or even just the idea that you have been exposed to a disease that can become serious, it can be very isolating.
You might start to feel like you are all alone in your journey or that no else understands what you are going through. Many feel betrayed by their body, the only home you ever truly spend your entire life living in. You may feel like everything you have known has fallen into chaos.
This is where community comes into play, showing you that the terrifying experience you are going through isn’t your sole burden to bear, that there are others there to help hold the weight on your shoulders and help you carry it until you no longer have to do so.
That community lives here and in many other places. We are here for you in your time crisis and here to help bear the burden of fighting this terrible disease, you are not alone on this path, we are walking with you, side by side, along with millions of others.
We are also here to help battle the stigmatization and marginalization of people suffering from tick-born illness. Many patients feel that their experience is not something that is publically accepted or validated, that there are stories out there, but nothing close to home, no local representation of their own experience. This is where the Claim Your Voice Project has decided to step in.
Our intention is to help share the stories of people suffering from Lyme and/or its related tick-borne diseases who live where you live, who have experienced walking the path you are on right now.
We seek to validate patient experiences by both giving them a voice and by providing those who have yet to form the strength to speak the opportunity to see that they are not alone, facilitating support and understanding through the power of patient stories, written in their own words.
If you would like to have your story shared here please email us at berkshirelyme@yahoo.com and submit your story. Stories may be as short or long as you like, just try to refrain from using expletives.
How you want your name displayed is up to you. We suggest either a first name and then a one letter abbreviation for the last, or just the first name. Including your age is important, because it allows for readers to see how diverse those infected really are, but is not mandatory. You can put what county/city/state you are from too, although this is entirely up to you as the writer.
Also please include a note in your email giving us permission to post your story on the site, and please use spellcheck before submitting.
Anyone may submit their story, however we are specifically seeking stories from the local area, Berkshire County and Western Mass, Massachusetts and the New England area, in particular. However, we are willing to share all stories, regardless of location.

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