Hundreds gathered in Purcellville last weekend to join in the third annual Loudoun Lyme 5K/1K. The race, which is sponsored by DryHome, was held for the first time at Loudoun Valley High School.
The event attracted runners and walkers of all ages, several dogs, and a pair of miniature horses. Many of the participants reported they had experienced Lyme personally. For some, a family member or coworker had been stricken with the disease.
Loudoun has the highest number of reported Lyme cases in Virginia. More than 200 new cases are reported each year.
The pre-race ceremony included a special recognition of Dr. Jorge Arais, the retiring Environmental Health Supervisors for the Fairfax County Health Department. Dr. Arais has studied mosquitos and ticks for 40 years and is a leading advocate for Lyme education.
The proceeds from the run will go to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association. The organization is committed to helping patients diagnosed with tick-borne infections through education, support, and review of public policies concerning these diseases.
The non-profit organization encourages individuals to advocate for themselves in their goal to regain their health. They offer regular patient support-group meetings throughout Virginia, information, speakers, and news updates on legislative and scientific developments.