by Michelle Neigut
Like the name playfully suggests, Ticked Off Music Fest is an East Coast concert series dedicated to aid in the prevention of Lyme disease, raise awareness and try to find a cure for the disease and other tick-borne illnesses that have become a fast growing epidemic in the country. The six-hour concert event to be held on June 15 at World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington, DE will also feature guest speakers discussing their personal journeys with Lyme disease and their sometimes unique coping methods. Be prepared to bring out the tissues.
Meet Katina Makris: Let’s just call her the Oprah of the disease awareness world. With her recovery memoir and guide, “Out of the Woods; Healing Lyme Disease – Body, Mind & Spirit,” she is dedicated to continue raising awareness and help for those who are struggling with the disease. Her memoir has also earned her a place as an award finalist for 2011 Best Book in Health with USA Book News and winner of “50 Authors You Should be Reading” by the Authors Show. I wonder if she would ever put herself in her own book club?
Meet Christa Saltzman: After reading her story, I couldn’t help but imagine this would be the type of story that would find a way onto the silver screen. With someone like Anne Hathaway playing the leading lady and Jake Gyllenhaal, her knight in shining armor. As medicine is making new discoveries every day, four years after her diagnosis, a family doctor wanted to establish a test for this new disease he had heard about at a conference where “Lyme disease,” was being discussed for the first time. After IV therapy, she still had many lingering health issues and was told to by her doctors that she could be permanently disabled. One young doctor suggested that she try the traditional Chinese remedy, acupuncture. The relief she received from her symptoms prompted Saltzman to go back to school to study acupuncture so she could help others the way she was helped. Once again Eastern medicine kicks Western medicine’s butt.
Meet Gregg Kirk, founder of the Ticked Off Music Fest. The rocker behind the disease is the lead singer/songwriter for the band The Zen Engines and former publisher of the Philadelphia/Delaware-based publication Big Shout Magazine. Kirk has also been dealing with chronic Lyme for almost a decade. His story follows the perfect arch for enlightenment. In 2005, a holistic doctor made the diagnosis and Kirk spent the next several years trying a combination of Western medicine and alternative remedies to little avail. In March of 2010, he visited John of God’s Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola in Abadiania, Brazil. While there, Kirk experienced a major reduction of his symptoms and a spiritual awakening that inspired him to help others with the illness. Since then, Kirk has been dedicated to helping those with chronic illness through music, motivational speaking, and fundraising. We sincerely thank Kirk for all that he has done.
And of course, the Ticked Off Music Fest will feature six of the Delaware Valley’s most renowned rock bands. Artists include: Laura Cheadle, Melissa Cox, Cliff Hillis, The Zen Engines, John & Brittany and Schroeder. For more information about Ticked Off Music Fest, go to: www.TickedOffMusicFest.com or email info@TickedOffMusicFest.com.