Dominick DellaSala has studied climate science for more than a decade as chief scientist for the nonprofit GEOS Institute in Ashland, Oregon. But seven years ago, climate change got personal.
DellaSala: “My daughter was very much an outdoors kid, and when she was five years old, she was bitten by a tick on our property and shortly after was diagnosed with Lyme disease.”
The threat of Lyme disease is greatest on the East Coast. But DellaSala says the disease is spreading as host populations of deer and mice grow, and the changing climate allows ticks to thrive in new areas.
DellaSala: “There’s an explosion of Lyme cases in the Northeast, around the Great Lakes, and in the western United States. We’re seeing Lyme entering counties where it’s never been reported before.”
After she was infected, his daughter suffered years of health problems like stomach and joint pain. She has now fully recovered, but her experience motivated DellaSala to share his family’s story.
He hopes to help people understand that global warming is real and has serious consequences.
DellaSala: “It could affect someone that you love and care about, as it did in my case with my daughter.”
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.