Daniela Acosta is a student, GLA Lyme Education Ambassador, and Peer Mentor from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.
In 2019, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. I wanted to learn more about Lyme and realized that there is a lack of knowledge where I live in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. Plus, I didn't know many people who had Lyme disease either. I started looking for organizations and foundations with more information about these types of diseases and also has a patient network. When I was searching, I found GLA to be helpful in providing information AND patient services. They offer opportunities to get involved and help others through their Lyme Education Ambassador Program and Peer-to-Peer Mentor program.
I have been sick now for 2.5 years, and I understand the struggles of having chronic Lyme disease. I don’t want someone to get Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases because of a lack of information and awareness, so I applied to become a GLA Ambassador to help educate my community. Everyone should have the tools to be able to protect themselves and their families. Hopefully, I can inform people about the risks of a tick bite to prevent them from getting sick and avoid the painful struggles caused by tick-borne diseases.
Since becoming an ambassador during the pandemic, I have not been able to organize in-person events to raise awareness and spread information. Nevertheless, I have been arranging virtual events in Spanish, such as awareness conferences with professionals and patients who have experiences with tick-borne disease. Now that I’ve been a GLA Ambassador for almost a year, learning more about Lyme disease has been a great experience. It has helped me to understand more about my own situation as well as what others go through. Being an ambassador, supporting and meeting patients and doctors, and spreading information has helped me and my family to not lose hope and understand that we are not alone!
Despite being a new ambassador who has had to work virtually, I have learned a lot through GLA this year. My favorite experience was organizing a weeklong series of webinars that included panels of doctors, life coaches, and Lyme patients in Spanish. I especially cherished the first day when I got to introduce GLA to Mexicans, and I spoke about my own experience as a Lyme patient and now someone who volunteers for the organization. Throughout the entire project, GLA was very supportive, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Learn more about GLA's Ambassador Program.