Reydon protestor’s march in favour of cause

Denise Longman who has suffered with Lyme disease for 30 years is set to join protesters oustide Par

Denise Longman who has suffered with Lyme disease for 30 years is set to join protesters oustide Parliament PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A woman is to join a protest outside Parliament to raise awareness about a potentially debilitating disease.

Denise Longman, 64, has suffered with Lyme disease for more than 30 years after being bitten while on a walking holiday in Scotland.

The illness is caused by a tick bite and can cause headaches, joint pains and heart palpitations but can be treated if diagnosed quickly.

However, Mrs Longman believes the illness is widely misdisagosed by doctors and wants to raise awareness when she joins to protest on Tuesday (May 24).

'After I was bitten I had no energy and stayed in bed for two weeks,' she said.

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'I was immobilised and when I went back to work, I had to learn how to walk again. This process kept being repeated in episodes over the next year. I went to see a doctor who almost laughed at me saying that ticks do not carry disease.'

After initially being told she had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and not even tested for Lyme disease until more than four years later, when the NHS test was negative.

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Mrs Longman explained she now suffers from heart and bladder problems, as well as pain, breathlessness and balance difficulties. She has also been told that a rare eye condition will mean she will lose her vision.

Through reading scientific research she has since found tests for Lyme disease miss at least half of positive cases, due to their low sensitivity.

'This started off as a group online and we first put forward a petition in 2012. Since then we have protested outside the Department of Health every year, handing over the petition with more and more signatures on each year,' added Mrs Longman.

Currently, more than 10,000 people have signed the petition calling for better testing methods to be explored and for doctors are better trained to treat tick-borne infections.

For further information and to sign the petition, visit

Are you campaigning to raise awareness about a cause or issue that is close to your heart? Tell The Journal by calling 01502 525820 or email

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