Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases are the fastest-spreading infectious diseases of the 21st century – spreading six times faster than HIV/AIDS in the United States. Akin to the polio and AIDS epidemic in the last century, the CDC acknowledges that 300,000 Americans are infected with Lyme disease annually, and only a small percentage is being properly diagnosed. Lyme disease experts contend that more than 4 million Americans suffered with Lyme disease in the last 10 years alone, making this an exploding public health crisis that affects every state in the country.
Because of the growing need for more awareness, prevention and patient support, two national Lyme disease organizations have joined forces to address the issues – The Ticked Off Music Fest and Lyme Warrior. The result of their partnership is the first ever Ticked Off Music Fest Richmond to benefit Lyme patients in the region.
Launched in 2012, the Ticked Off Music Fest is the only ongoing music event solely focused on Lyme disease education, awareness and fundraising that travels to trouble spots around the country. The goal of the concert series is to drive awareness, give tips on prevention, and to educate on the many symptoms of the disease. It also raises money for a Lyme-patient fund developed by its sister organization, Ticked Off Foundation Inc., a tax-exempt 501(c) 3 organization. This fund gives support to patients in financial, physical and emotional crisis.
Lyme Warrior is also a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization fighting to bring awareness and support to the sufferers of the silent, debilitating epidemic of Lyme disease. Proceeds fund Lyme disease research, awareness campaigns, and impoverished Lyme Warriors.
The Ticked Off Music Fest and Lyme Warrior will kick off their inaugural visit to the River City on Friday, Feb. 2, with a concert event to raise awareness and funds for patients suffering from Lyme disease in the region. The event will be held at the Canal Club, located at 1545 E. Cary St.
The event will feature music by Brickwall Jackson, a local Richmond favorite led by songwriter/guitarist Johnny Hudak along with lead vocalist Suzie “MoJo” Johnson, bassist Chuck Harrell, drummer Rod “Sticks” Hicks and keyboardist Sam Nixon. The band is well known in the region for its blend of uniquely American music.
Also appearing will be Gregg Kirk, lead vocalist of The Zen Engines and founder of the Ticked Off Foundation, Inc. Kirk has played and spoken on behalf of Lyme patients since recovering from the disease himself, and he has appeared at events in Hawaii, Florida, California, Maryland, Maine and Delaware.
On the night of the concert, the doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. More information about the event and links to purchase tickets can be found at tickedoffmusicfest.com or thecanalclub.com. All proceeds go to Lyme disease research and patient funding that will be handled jointly and directly by Lyme Warrior and the Ticked Off Foundation, Inc.