Do you or any family members have unexplained headaches, fatigue, aches and pains? A diagnosis of autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis or psychiatric problems? Maybe it’s Lyme!
Once limited geographically to areas around Lyme, CT, this masquerader is estimated to now be affecting over 300,000 people in all 50 states and on every continent except Antarctica. And contrary to popular belief, only about half of affected individuals experience the tell-tale bull’s eye rash. Furthermore, the standard of care two-week treatment with strong antibiotics is often unable to “cure” this nasty disease.

If you suspect that you or someone you love has Lyme, RUN, don’t walk to a local movie theatre and see the newly released award-winning documentary Under Our Skin. A gripping tale of microbes, medicine & money, this eye-opening film investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic larger than AIDS.

I was fortunate to participate in the kick-off of the Under Our Skin Awareness Tour at IFC in New York City last week. In attendance were producer, director,Andy Abrahams Wilson and Lyme patient, Mandy. After seeing the movie and listening to their stories, I’m not sure I will ever be able to walk in the woods again.

Under Our Skin takes viewers on a journey beneath the surface of one of the misunderstood medical issues of our times. Like autism, Lyme is a “mystery” to traditional medicine, and even its very existence is questioned because standard laboratory tests are unreliable. Through dramatic stories of both patients affected by the disease and doctors who risk their livelihoods and licenses by treating them, Wilson beautifully demonstrates how the controversies surrounding diagnosis and treatment leave patients abandoned by mainstream medicine.

You will be brought to tears by what happens when Lyme disease goes undiagnosed or untreated. Symptoms can flare up weeks, months and even years after infection. Treatments can send patients to the Emergency Room as their bodies experience healing crises called Herxheimer reactions. One of my heroes, Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD is in the movie, and his big heart and loving bedside manner are very visible.

Under Our Skin was supported by Turn the Corner Foundation, founded in 2002 by Staci and Rich Grodin to address unmet needs for research and funding. Since then, it has dedicated itself to support of research, education, awareness and innovative treatments for those with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Turn the Corner is also providing a Physicians Training Program to assure that more people get proper treatment. This ground-breaking program provides medical practitioners the opportunity to study with a Lyme-literate health care professional and develop the skills to properly diagnose and treat Lyme patients.
You can help turn this movie into a movement. Thousands of people have watched Under Our Skin in hundreds of community screenings since its premiere at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, creating an unprecedented grass-roots campaign. However, this success spells uncertainty for theater managers who fear too many people have already seen the film and won't come out to theaters. We need to prove them wrong. Here's what you can do:

  • Go right now to and see if the movie is coming to your area.
  • If not, be proactive and arrange a community screening using online promotional materials. Contact your local art house or independent theater and convince them to show UNDER OUR SKIN. Have them contact the movie’s distributor, or producer by emailing them.
  • Buy blocks of tickets or entire shows, turning a theatrical screening into a community educational event; then organize with others to get a speaker, solicit press and fill seats.
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