In 2011, singer/songwriter Melissa Cox noticed a disturbing trend: dozens of her friends and family were battling or had recently recovered from Lyme Disease. “I was shocked to learn how many people I love were fighting this illness,” reflects Cox, a Delaware native and award-winning folk artist. “I was also concerned by how many myths exist about Lyme that perpetuate its spread across the country.”
In an effort to change that, the national touring singer has released a special album. All profits from the sale of the album will help fight Lyme, which is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States.The album, Live at the Ticked Off Music Festival, features seven songs that Cox and her bandmates Erin Flynn (keyboard, violin) and Matt Smith (bass) performed live at the inaugural Ticked Off Music Festival in Wilmington, Delaware on June 15, 2013. Ticked Off is an East Coast, U.S. concert series dedicated to the prevention, awareness and cure of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. All profits from the sale of Cox’s live album benefit the festival.Cox says she’s happy to donate her time and talents for a good cause.
“I’m doing it for the people I love,” she says. “No one is exempt or immune. I love to garden, and the other day, I found a nest of deer ticks next to my house. It’s scary to think that at any point in time, I could get sick, too.” Musician Gregg Kirk, of Norwalk, Conn., founded the Ticked Off Music Festival after he survived a serious battle with LymeDisease. He says he’s happy to have Cox's support. "I struggled with Lyme for more than ten years and was lucky enough to come out on the other side," says Kirk. "After getting well, I wanted to help others avoid some of the suffering I went through, and it's great to have Melissa join me in support. It's really starting to make a difference." Kirk emphasizes the importance of prevention, screening, early detection, and treatment. “Using preventative measures can drastically reduce your chances of contracting Lyme,” says Kirk, who urges people to wear shoes and white socks when gardening or hiking, check their entire bodies for ticks after spending time outdoors, and wear tick repellent. “If you find a tick on you, go to the hospital to have it removed professionally and insist on immediate treatment, even if you don’t see a bull’s eye rash,” says Kirk. “Early treatment is extremely important in the prevention of long-term, chronic Lyme.” For more information about Melissa Cox and to download the new album, visit MelissaCoxMusic.net. For more information about the Ticked Off Music Festival, visit TickedOffMusicFest.com.