Polo Match Raises Lyme Disease Awareness

Polo for Lyme
Polo for Lyme players and horses

Having grown up around horses and boarding my first horse in a 100 acre pasture behind my California ranch-style home, I know to check myself for ticks.

What I didn’t know was how much punch a little tick could pack – enough to knock a young professional athlete to her knees and cause a California mother to temporarily lose her memory due to a tick bite.

Polo for Lyme players, horses
Polo for Lyme players and polo ponies

Lyme disease facts

Did you know that Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States, with over 300,000 new cases each year?

The greatest incidence of Lyme disease is among children.

In California, the Western black-legged tick, which transmits Lyme disease to humans and animals has been found in 56 of 58 counties.

Diagnostic tests for Lyme disease are unreliable; left untreated Lyme is a debilitating disease.

In California, tick season is year round.

Menlo Polo Club players
Menlo Polo Club players knock out Lyme disease

Lyme disease signs and symptoms

Symptoms of Lyme disease typically appear days or weeks after infection. Look for rash (often times a bulls-eye rash), headaches, flu-like symptoms, joint pain, strong fatigue, small bump or redness at tick bite and even Bell’s palsy.

Bay Area Lyme Foundation

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation was established by a group of friends from Portola Valley, California who were alarmed by the rising rates of Lyme disease in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  The Silicon Valley-based non-profit organization is dedicated to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and cure.

Jack Ajluni, Menlo Polo Club
Jack Ajluni of Menlo Polo Club rides to defeat Lyme disease.

Polo for Lyme

Polo for Lyme is an annual event to benefit Bay Area Lyme Foundation. With a hat parade, polo tournament, live and silent auction, champagne divot stomp, live music and gourmet buffet, Polo for Lyme is an annual benefit for horse lovers and fun seekers!

For more information on Lyme disease and next year’s Polo for Lyme event date visit www.bayarealyme.org or call (650) 530-2439.

Article, video and photos courtesy of Equestrian Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California.

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2 thoughts on “Polo Match Raises Lyme Disease Awareness”

  1. I know, firsthand, the debilitating effects of Lyme Disease. The ONLY definitive diagnosis is the bullseye rash; there are no other symptoms that positively identify the disease and up to 50% of people who are bitten by a Lyme tick do not get the rash. As stated in the article, the tests for Lyme are unreliable and in the absence of the rash, symptoms mimic the flu, so doctors are giving antibiotics as a prophylactic. It took doctors five years to diagnose me properly and by that time I had neurological symptoms – I developed loss of short-term memory and dyslexia. Yet for years the doctors insisted that it was all in my head. I was half-dead when they finally figured it out and it took me a year to regain my health. The medical community is not admitting the seriousness of this near-epidemic disease; Lyme is nothing to mess around with. If you’ve been outside in an area where Lyme is present, be sure to check yourself thoroughly for ticks afterward, especially in the scalp and in warm moist areas like under the arms or in the groin.

  2. @Barbara Thank you for your comments. I am so sorry that you had to cope with undiagnosed Lyme Disease. The more I talk about Lyme, the more people I discover have had serious encounters with this infectious disease.

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