UPDATE: On March 14th, two of our Lyme Advocates went back to Springfield for a Meeting with Representative Swanson, Senator Neil Anderson, Illinois Department of Public Health representatives, Illinois State Medical Society representatives, Osteopath Society representatives, Senator Manar’s Staffer, Illinois House Republican Staffer, Illinois House Democratic Staffer and many others. It was a very tough meeting, but in the end, we couldn’t have asked for anything better!!! The Illinois State Medical Society has asked for 2 weeks to put together a more inclusive Bill that will include more aspects to make it a better Bill. We are giving them this opportunity to see what they come up with. They assured us several times they understand the depths of the Lyme Issue in Illinois and will do everything they can to make it great. They again commended our little warrior Lauryn and all her advocacy and they will pay tribute to her. We also thank Dr. Betty Maloney for jumping on the phone and helping us with the more scientific issues that got brought up. We have great Legislatures on our side and are confident we will have a Lyme Bill in Illinois soon!!!
On Monday, March 5, 2018, a small group meet at Representative Dan Swanson’s office to discuss Bill 4515 and what it means to have Lyme. In attendance was, Representative Dan Swanson, Senator Neil Anderson, Representative Michael Halpin, Illinois State Medical Society, and Advocates – Jennifer and Lauryn Russell, Sarah Wessells, and Linda Kehart. The Illinois State Medical Society listened to the advocates and their stories.
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, a group of Lyme Advocates headed to Springfield to testify to the Health Care Licensing Committee. In attendance was Jennifer and Lauryn Russell, Sarah Wessells, Kimberly Freeze and Linda Kehart. The advocates were informed that the Illinois State Medical Board would be beginning a large Awareness campaign. At the Hearing, Lauryn Russell did an awesome job of captivating the Legislators attention and it was clear that they will not allow this tragedy to continue. All other testimony really reiterated what Lauryn said and showed that this is a state-wide issue and not just isolated incidents. The Committee made it clear that this must move quickly.
Another meeting has been scheduled for the next week for all State Department Heads , Legislatures, Advocates and their Lawyer to come together and decide on the best language changes for the Bill.