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Ask the Expert: Lyme Disease Advocacy with Sarah Sternberg

Tell us a little background on your story and what made you become an advocate for education on Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease has always been a hard topic of conversation for me. It was not until Andrew & The Sawyer team encouraged me to put my story on paper. Thanks to this amazing team, I was able to tell my story and really work through some horrible memories. To check out this story, head over to Sawyer’s Blog or continue reading below. Parts of that eye-opening writing session are featured in the answers below.

What are some tips/advise on how to avoid Lyme Disease and for those who have experienced it, how do you manage it?

Instead of telling you how to live your life, I will share with you my trusted tips in preventing a run-in with an infected tick.

I start by pre-treating my clothes and gear with permethrin spray. This stuff is NO JOKE! Sawyer Products, Inc. makes a Permethrin Insect Repellent that is safe to apply on your clothing and all outdoor recreation gear. Not only is this particular repellent odorless, but it’s also safe to use on your pets. You are not going to catch me hitting any type of trail or campground without a bottle of this repellent along with some organic peppermint oil for backup.

When leaving the house, even for a short trip to the woods, I always make sure to have head protection. Tying back my hair and tossing on a hat is just an easy way I can prevent a run-in with a sneaky little tick.

Next are the obvious tips: always tuck your pants into your socks, do not wear sandals, wear weather-appropriate layers that cover easy-to-burrow creases, never wander off the trails, and just be present.

These basic tips can work wonders when hitting the outdoors for any type of adventure.

I would not be a true millennial if I didn’t suggest you hit the books and internet for reputation-worthy resources. Yes, Pinterest is fabulous for charts and fun graphics, but when researching topics as important and Lyme Disease, I would stick to the credited sources.

The Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Center website is filled with statistics, facts, and important information on this crippling disease. Although I am not currently dealing with Lyme symptoms, I still constantly check to educate myself on recent studies, data, and statistics.

It’s resources like these that inspire me to share my story. They inspire me to promote self-care. Seeking help for mental illness isn’t ANYTHING to be ashamed of. If anything, it just makes you a stronger person. Understanding that you might need an extra boost in order to take steps towards your best life is the passion I want to share with the world.

I will never stop learning, seeking advances in treatment, and promoting the true beauty that is fresh air.

What is a personal mantra you live by? Why is this statement so important to you?

If I could give any advice to someone that lives with chronic Lyme disease and/or has a fear of the unknown, what would it be? My answer would be to weather out the storm. I know it can be impossible to see, but the sun always shines after the worst storms. Try your best to remember that good comes with the bad, but we might not allow ourselves to see it clearly. Despite all the giant horse pills, 1 A.M. trips to get PET scans, and extreme bouts of fatigue, please remember you’re not alone.

This version of my story remains at surface level. My battle and journey continue to live inside me and inspire me every single day to share my struggles, highs, lows, and the overcoming of difficult obstacles.


May 9, 2022

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Sarah Sternberg


In the end, I go to the woods to discover myself, to find out more about who I am and who I want to be.

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Hiker, Speaker, Author


Sawyer Picaridin Continuous Spray is our pick for the best all-around bug spray. This long-lasting product repels mosquitoes and ticks for up to 12 hours while warding off biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies for up to eight hours.

Brandon Fralic


Gear is a necessity for a thru-hike (historically, my ancestors traveled the trails with less, but nowadays equipment is vital).

The Trek
Media Mentions from the Trek