'There are only a handful of doctors that will even take Lyme patients and even then they still say that Lyme disease is not something you can catch around this area,' she said.
But Spehart, a Lyme disease patient herself, says that it is time that misnomer is eliminated.
'With the money we can get the word out and get people informed,' she said.
The organization specializes in creating Tick Kits, packets of information on how to keep ticks -- a carrier of Lyme disease -- from spreading the potentially deadly infection. The kits are distributed to nurses
, teachers and other professionals in the Kansas
Presently, there's no cure for someone who has Lyme disease, but there are treatments and practices to help an infected person live a normal life even as the disease begins to take its toll.
'Sometimes it is just so overwhelming' Spehart said. 'I know how hard it is to take care of yourself. It is like having mono all the time.'
Spehart echoed Piltz's wishes for this Friday's fundraiser. While the money can go a long way to help get the word out, simply letting people know about Lyme and the effect it can have on anyone -- especially a close friend -- can do wonders in the fight against a disease that's widely misunderstood.
Lyme disease fundraiser
** What: A remembrance of Brittany Gallagher, an Olathe East student who died of Lyme disease in February , and awareness-raising event about the disease.
** When: Friday, Aug 24, 5 p.m. to close
** Where: McAlister's Deli in the Olathe Pointe Shopping Center, 119th Street and Black Bob Road.
** How to help: Fifteen percent of food and drink sales will be donated to the Lyme Association of Greater Kansas City for individuals mentioning Brittany Gallagher or Lyme disease.
** Learn more: Tables will also be set up at the restaurant to disseminate information about Lyme disease and the Lyme Association of Greater Kansas City.
** Association Web site: www.lymefight.info