Gov. John Hickenlooper openly puckered up at the state Capitol on Tuesday after completing the “Take a Bite Out of Lyme Disease” challenge.
Fifth grader Olivia Goodreau challenged the governor as part of her campaign to raise awareness about Lyme disease.
The ticks that spread the infection aren’t found in Colorado, but Lyme disease affects about 300,000 people in the U S every year.
It’s something Olivia knows all too well. She started experiencing symptoms in the second grade.
“I was losing my vision. My face was turning really pale and sometimes I would feel like I had the flu,” said Olivia.
Olivia takes nine pills twice a day and assorted herbal remedies. She’s a lot better, but not back to normal.
“They do not have a cure for Lyme disease,” said the now 6th grader.
On Tuesday, Hickenlooper agreed to join Olivia in literally taking a bite out of a lime as part of her mission to educate others about the disease. They both bit into a lime slice gleefully and smiled, despite the sour taste.
Olivia has made Lyme disease education her cause. She developed a tick kit with a classmate. She challenges people to take a bite out of a real lime to raise awareness and funding for better diagnosis and treatment. The Take a Bite Out of Lyme Disease Challenge kicked off in March and is ongoing.