Cyclist riding across country to raise awareness of lyme disease

Two Ontario cyclists will be starting their 8,000-kilometre cross-country cycling trip in Victoria next week

Two Ontario cyclists will be starting their 8,000-kilometre cross-country cycling trip in Victoria next week to raise awareness of lyme disease.

Daniel Corso and Tanner Cookson from St. Catharines, Ontario are riding from Mile 0 in Victoria to St. John’s Newfoundland for a close friend who was diagnosed with lyme disease.

“It started when my good friend Adelaine was diagnosed and the trouble she went through to get a diagnosis and get the treatment,” said Corso.

Lyme disease is an inflammatory infection that spreads to humans through tick bites. It is treatable if found in the early stages, but if not caught can be disabling.

In the month-and-a-half-long trip, the duo expects to average 140 kilometres a day to raise awareness.

“It’s very preventable, people just need to know what to look for, particularly in Canada where we have lots of wooded areas and people who like the outdoors,” said Corso.

Merina Brisdon, facilitator of the Victoria Lyme Disease Awareness and Support Group, said the ride will bring some much-needed attention to the disease that is often misdiagnosed.

“A lot of the doctors don’t know that we have lyme disease here. I hear this all the time that people go to their doctor with a tick bite are told not to worry because there’s no lyme disease here,” said Brisdon. “People are often misdiagnosed because it can look like other conditions.”

On Sunday, May 11, there is a kick off event at Centennial Square (next to City Hall), from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information visit rideforlyme.ca.