Monday, September 29, 2014

Lyme Disease Event Slated for October 4 at The Crossings of Colonie

Lyme Disease Turned Her Family's World Upside Down
  Now she's striking back with a "Race Against Lyme" this Saturday, Oct. 4, at The Crossings of Colonie park

COLONIE, NY---Heidi Buono knows first-hand how Lyme disease can turn a family's world upside down---and she doesn't want others to go through the same thing.

Buono and her three children have all fought Lyme disease. Heidi became very ill six years ago, suffering from symptoms that so many with Lyme experience: extreme fatigue, achey joints, severe migraines, and heart palpitations. She underwent countless medical tests, but all returned negative. She couldn't find a doctor near her Albany home who could help her. 

Barely able to walk and unable to care for her children, a distraught Buono sought out answers, eventually finding a Lyme-literate physician two-and-a-half hours away who diagnosed her with late-stage Lyme and other tick-borne co-infections. 
Heidi and Michael Buono with daughter, Leah
Then her children became ill. Her eldest son was hit the hardest with neurological issues and was unable to attend his sophomore year of high school. Once again, doctors were stumped, but told Buono that "no way" could her son have Lyme. 

She found a doctor closer to home who specialized in Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and her son was diagnosed and treated for Lyme and several co-infections. Today Buono and her children (she's pictured left with her husband and daughter) are still being treated, and like most individuals diagnosed with tick-borne diseases their ailments come and go. 

To raise awareness about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, Buono has organized a 5K Walk/Run "Race Against Lyme" to be held this Saturday, October 4, at The Crossings of Colonie, Loudonville, NY. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lyme Research Alliance (LRA), the nation's largest private funder of Lyme and tick-borne disease research at the university level. 

The 5K run, open to all ages and abilities, will start at 11 a.m. inside The Crossings of Colonie park and a 1.5 mile walk will follow; registration for all will open at 9:30 a.m. The Race will cover a flat 5K loop on designated routes, ending back inside the park. The event will be held rain or shine.

Individuals can pre-register for $30 each; families (up to six participants, same household) can pre-register at a family rate of $70. Registration on the day of the event is $35 for individuals and $75 for families. Participants who pre-register for the event will receive a t-shirt; those who register on Race day will receive the t-shirt while supplies last.

"Many people in upstate communities falsely believe they are not at risk of contracting Lyme or other tick-borne diseases, " said Buono, a job coach for special education teens. "They also don't know how little information---or misinformation---surrounds Lyme in our medical communities. I'm on a mission to change that." 

Plans call for Korey DiRoma, N.D. of The Stram Center for Integrative Medicine to speak at the event. Also, Top Form, a local personal training/gym, will lead pre-and-post-workouts, Albany Massage therapists will offer free massages and Piece of Cake Bakery and Cafe will hand out gluten-free almond or granola bars. 

"We're really excited about this upcoming Race since this is our first race in upstate New York,"  said LRA Executive Director Peter Wild. "Besides raising the awareness and funding that are so important to fighting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, we hope the Race will also provide an opportunity for those who've been affected by them to come together and find a sense of community through shared experiences and a common purpose---finding reliable and effective tests and treatments for these devastating and mysterious diseases."

Sponsors for the event include Pioneer Bank, The Nuss Family, Colonie Police Benevolent Association, Needham Risk Management, C.T. Male Associates, Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, Cat's Eye Pest Control, Top Form, Albany Massage, Dairy Direct Milk, Piece of Cake Bakery and Cafe and Steven Morton, DMD. 

To register, sponsor, or volunteer to help with the Race Against Lyme to Benefit LRA, go to or call 518-577-3316.

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