When I was in the fourth grade, my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Wylie, organized a Mush Ball game for morning recess time. Each week she choose new team captains, who would then choose their teams. Every Monday morning just before recess, she would announce the week's new head honchos.
I stood there among the team captain hopefuls and with the eagerness of would be lottery winners, we cringed each time someone else's name was called. The suspense nearly made us pass out or at the very least scream. There we were, 25 or so, jittery, energy filled 9 year olds awaiting what we deemed to be the chance of a lifetime.
"Team Captain," can't you just hear the angels singing at the sound of that title? It rivaled any we had known thus far. Even if you were a no-name before, if you were picked by Mrs. Wylie for team captain, you gained popularity faster than your mom could cook instant Cream of Wheat.
I was never chosen for Team Captain, so I settled for just being picked for a team. The fear of rejection was the same as any other kids, but looking back I can see why nobody truly wanted me on their teams at first. I was the skinny girl, the toe head, the "dumb blonde." I was awkward and as far as anyone in my class knew, not very good at sports, especially "boy" sports.
Or was I?
What they didn't know was that my dad or sisters played "catch" with me most every evening. My cousin Steve and Uncle Bobby taught me how to pitch. My neighborhood had our own ball "teams" and we played ball quite often after school until the street lights came on. My cousins and I played ball together at picnics and other outings and we really liked it.
Still, I was usually picked last or not at all. I never even got the chance to bat, until one fateful morning.
I can still remember that sunny day. I was finally up to the plate for the first time. The pitcher turned to his team and said "It's Claiborne, bring it in, she can't hit." Slowly the outfield players all walked in, expecting an easy out.
The pitch, the swing, the miss. No runs, no hits, no errors and I was afraid.
My palms were sweaty. I looked around as if I was looking for a way out or a source of confidence or something. Anything.
From the corner of my eye I thought saw her. Then, I turned my head and clearly saw my big sister, Peggy, watching from afar. I knew she was rooting for me. She nodded. I nodded back. Then another ball was released from the pitchers arm as though gravity didn't exist. I swung as hard as my frail arms could swing.
I hit a home run and the crowd went wild. I imagine that might've been how Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle felt when they hit their first homer. After that, I was picked first by a team captain, every week. As I rounded the bases that day, I could hear my big sister cheering, as she jumped up and down. Then the entire team began to cheer, "Claiborne, Claiborne, Claiborne!"
They're chanting my name! Hey, I'm not such a bad player after all!
Today, I'm the pitcher and I'm pitching to you, my reader. Not only am I the pitcher, my calling has made me "Team Captain", but I'm afraid this position hasn't afforded me much popularity. You don't become super popular when you're asking for other people's hard earned money. Yes, I am asking, but not for myself.
How can I cause you to catch a glimpse of my vision?
I know there are so many causes, worthy causes, out there in the world and no doubt all of you see pleas for donations each day in your social media newsfeeds.
But...tonight, I'm weeping at the thought of one more person dying of Lyme disease.
Can you hear these cries? I know of that which I speak because it almost took my life in 2005. I was fortunate enough to have insurance, and, believe me, what insurance covers is merely a drop in the bucket of what it costs to overcome Lyme.
The IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) has guidelines on how they say doctors are supposed to treat Lyme. However, those guidelines are not only bogus, they are outdated. The guidelines haven't changed since the 80's. The IDSA, Big Pharma and insurance companies can't make money from Lyme when it is correctly treated. They say 3 weeks of antibiotics are enough, and that Late Stage Lyme doesn't exist. HOGWASH! When Lyme bacteria isn't caught early it multiplies within the body and over the months or years it becomes chronic and deadly.
It's taken me 10 years to get to the place I'm at today in regards to Lyme, and I still have to have treatment to stay alive. Three weeks worth of antibiotics would not have "cured" me, I may as well have eaten Skittles as medicine for that length of time.
Why does the IDSA do this, you ask? Because they love money more than people, so they instigated this evil to deny Lyme patients treatment and they target and shut down physicians that don't comply with their insane policies regarding Lyme treatment.
Since 2005, I have seen 7 different Lyme doctors, 5 of which were targeted and shut down by the "Big Wigs". They were threatened. "We'll pull your medical license," they were told. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the threats were more dangerous than that. When people love money that much, they don't care who lives or dies.
I'm a lot better than I was in 2005. I can walk now, I can travel, write, have fun and most of the time I can drive. Treatment days are still rough but I'm living and not dying.
I know some people that are not so fortunate. I want to help them, but I can't do it alone.
So, I'm doing what any self respecting Lyme Warrior would do. I'm starting a foundation to bring financial aid to those with Lyme who can't afford treatment. My husband Chuck and I mulled over the name and decided that everyone needs a little glimmer of hope to carry on when they're in the dark, thus was born the name The Little Glimmer Lyme Foundation. We're in the process of obtaining our 501 c3 status, but that doesn't mean we can't get crack-a-lackin' now. To learn more about what we do at Little Glimmer Lyme Foundation, please visit our website at www.littleglimmer.com
Please be patient with us. We're just getting started. Funds are low, but won't be low forever. If you know someone who needs help, please click the "contact" button on our website www.littleglimmer.com and shoot us an e-mail. We'll do what we can to help.
The bases are loaded, there are two outs and I've never been up to bat in this kind of World Series before. Please be like my big sister, and cheer me on. Please catch this vision and step up to the plate with me. I have to hit a home run with this, because it's not a game. It's life or death.
Together, we can win this.