Lyme Disease...A very good friend of mine suffers from Lyme Disease

A very good friend of mine Lea Drosos-Calicchia suffers from Lyme Disease.  She is an advocate for spreading awareness to help everyone understand what they can do to prevent this from happening to you.  One of the things she said that has always stayed with me was...

"It began with a fever, then a horrible cough, sore throat, jaw pain, shin splints, hip pain, lost my short-term memory, difficulty putting words and thoughts together. I couldn't breathe."

                 Shawn Nesbitt                     Lea Drosos-Calicchia               Kelly Broome

                 Shawn Nesbitt                     Lea Drosos-Calicchia               Kelly Broome


Lyme disease is an illness spread through the bite of a black-legged tick—also known as a deer tick—that is infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.  

I strongly recommend that you take the time to learn and educate your family about ticks and Lyme Disease.  The following topics are very important please visit this link to learn more or visit

  • Prevention

  • Removing a Tick

  • Submitting a Tick for Testing

  • Symptoms

  • What to do if you become ill

What are we doing about ticks?

York Region Public Health monitors various locations across York Region each spring and fall for black-legged ticks. Active tick surveillance findings have identified black-legged ticks in York Region.

As tick populations are expanding, it is possible that black-legged ticks could be present outside the areas identified by York Region Public Health. 

Locations where black-legged ticks have been found through active tick surveillance:

  • Town of Georgina
    • Metro Tract – York Regional Forest
  • Township of King
    • Centennial Park Trail
    • Cold Creek Conservation Area
    • Joker’s Hill
  • City of Markham
    • Bob Hunter Memorial Park – Rouge Valley
  • City of Vaughan
    • Bindertwine Park
    • Boyd Conservation Area
    • Kortright Conservation Area
  • Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville
    • North Tract - York Regional Forest
    • Porritt Tract – York Regional Forest

The Rouge Valley, North Tract York Regional Forest, Joker’s Hill and the areas surrounding these locations have been identified by Public Health Ontario as a Lyme disease Risk Area. Risk areas are defined as wooded or brushy areas within a 20-kilometre radius zone around locations where black-legged ticks have been found through tick dragging during two dragging events (once in spring and again in the fall; from May through October).

Lea reached out to me to ask for help making May 1st Lyme Awareness Day and I was more than happy to help.  In honour of Lyme Appreciation Month May 2018, the River Walk Commons and the Water Street Bridge were lit green to spread awareness of the disease and share support throughout the community.

Photo courtesy of York Region Media Group.

Photo courtesy of York Region Media Group.

To further spread awareness Shawn Nesbitt, Lea Drosos-Calicchia and I planned the First Annual Family Lyme Awareness Walk at Newmarket Riverwalk Commons to kick off the spring & summer seasons. You couldn't miss this group of walkers as the streets lit up with lime green lights, jackets, and t-shirts while event Organizers shared information on Lyme and helped to educate the public of the dangers of ticks, how to prevent being bit and what to look for after exposure.

Thank you to Lea Drosos-Calicchia, Shawn Nisbett and all who attended and supported the Lyme Disease month and the walk.  We are looking forward to making the Annual Family Lyme Awareness Walk even bigger in May 2019.  

Enjoy the photo's from The Annual Family Lyme Awareness Walk.

By working together, sharing information, ideas and being engaged in our community we can achieve results for Ward 6 together.