Pictou County trio combines talents to make Lyme awareness flag

ADAM MACINNIS adam.macinnis@ngnews.ca @ngnews



SaltWire Network



A flag now flying in Halifax for Lyme Awareness Month owes its existence to three Pictou County residents. Brenda Sterling-Goodwin has been a longtime advocate for Lyme Disease awareness. She was the first person to begin raising the issue in Pictou County, when many doubted it was even in the county. She had to fight to be diagnosed herself. While there is more awareness, she said more work has to be done and she is in regular contact with people throughout the world, who are battling the disease in their part of the globe. “It’s a worldwide problem. I talk to people everywhere,” Sterling-Goodwin said. Earlier this year, the New Glasgow woman had a vision for a flag to raise awareness of Lyme. “I woke up one morning with this idea,” she said. She then turned to longtime friend and graphic designer John Ashton of Ashton Creative Design. “I knew the kind of stuff he did, so I passed on my vision and boom, it was on paper,” Sterling-Goodwin said. But to have the flag ready to fly in time for May, which is Lyme Awareness Month, they needed to find a place to get the graphic printed. That’s where the third Pictou County resident became involved. Janelle Clyke is the owner of Janelle’s Upcycled and New Fashions. Clyke aims for her business to be as environmentally friendly as possible, so she utilizes recycled material whenever possible. What is now a flag in Halifax originated in a bag of donated items. “It was a tattered curtain, and I thought, well, that would be perfect for the flag,” Clyke said. She cut and sewed it to the appropriate size, sprayed it with a poly spray to give it durability, and then printed the graphic that Ashton had designed. Clyke hopes that more people will be made aware of the issue of Lyme Disease as a result. “People’s livelihoods and lives are deeply affected by it and we as Nova Scotians have to take care of our neihbours. Ashton said he was glad to be involved with the project and appreciated that Sterling-Goodwin made a point of choosing local businesses to make her flag a reality. The flag was raised at Halifax City Hall on May 3. Also present at the raising was Lymear, a Lyme Disease Awareness bear that Sterling-Goodwin made.