What’s the Story?
A Lyme disease survivor and educator, Dr. Nancy Fox spent years with one illness after another and decided the illnesses were a part of her life. A change occurred when she took her father to a doctor who treats Lyme disease and he instantly saw her symptoms of Bell’s Palsy, the neurological symptoms, and fatigue. Through her dissertation and research, Dr. Fox found that children are the most underserved population of Lyme and tick-borne diseases for prevention and awareness. The LEAF Program was created and designed to serve children and their families with the hope and determination for irradicating tick-borne diseases through education and awareness.
In 2011, Dr. Fox’s first children’s book, “No Ticks Please”, was published. Then, in 2014, her second book, “Hide and Seek, and No Ticks Please,” was published. In 2017, No Ticks, Please|No Garrapatas, Por Favor was published. In 2022, That Bites is taking a different approach to bring about awareness of disease and illness through the stories of Insects.
Christina Murphy has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and related co-infections since 2009.
She quickly decided that she would help others and began educating herself about lyme disease. Her journey led her to start a support group based in Maryland in 2013, become a certified health coach, and part of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners making her one of the first three Lyme Literate Health Coaches in the Washington DC area. She has been a guest educator at other Lyme support/education groups and hosted/helped with countless information booths in various locations from Canada to North Carolina. She has testified in front of the US Senate as part of an effort that got a Lyme bill passed in 2016 as well as testifying to pass the HB880 bill. She officially teamed up with Dr. Fox and LEAF in 2018, touring and now spearheading fundraising efforts for the group.
Jake Broughton was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2017 after years of searching for the reasons behind his failing health. To better understand the condition he found himself battling, he started researching and reading, sharing what he found online in various Lyme support/education groups. He began advocating for Lyme rights in 2017 and has been pushing for a better understanding of the disease since that time. Broughton is now co-admin of the Virginia based education/advocacy/support group Lyme Alive, growing the group and its reach while continuing to stay on top of the latest research and advocacy efforts of the entire lyme community. He joined forces with LEAF in 2020, stepping in to help with marketing, research, and educational efforts.
Adrian VanKeuren was diagnosed with Lyme disease after a tick bite in 2007 and found herself becoming an accidental advocate in 2009 when she joined her area support group. She began helping the founder Lucy Miller with educational booths, Lyme rallies, and other advocacy efforts. When Lucy passed away due to complications from Lyme in 2013, VanKeuren stepped up to lead the support group, now named Lyme Alive, and turned it from a support group into an educational group. Lyme Alive attends many area events each year and educates the public about the dangers of Lyme disease and how to prevent being bitten by ticks. She and Murphy begin working closely together in 2016, supporting one another’s efforts and attending many of the same events, and joined LEAF at the same time to help facilitate the mission of saving children.
Cassidy Colbert was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012 at the age of 14 after many health issues; since then, she has had one primary mission in her advocacy work: keeping other children and teenagers from getting sick with Lyme disease. Colbert has testified in front of the US Senate as part of an effort that got a Lyme bill passed in 2016, started an online support group for kids/teens suffering from Lyme, and has a blog called “The Lyme Diary,” in addition to other advocacy work. In 2018, Colbert met Dr. Fox. The two started working together, touring in the summers of 2018 & 2019, to facilitate LEAF’s most significant goal – the in-person education of children about the dangers of Lyme disease and how to prevent getting it by being tick aware.