Karen Gloyer Little
Karen’s life took an unexpected turn when she started experiencing complicated, debilitating physical symptoms that remained undiagnosed for fourteen years. After more than a decade of hardship and pain, she was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease and Babesia. Although she’s learned how to weave life around Lyme, Karen’s most recent teaching position at Lynnhaven Academy (Virginia) was cut short by a recurrence of the disease.
Karen’s story is emblematic of the struggles too often accompanying Lyme diagnoses, as well as a testament to her tremendous resilience of spirit. Despite ongoing challenges, Karen remains passionate about educating children, families, and medical professionals about Lyme disease. She hopes that Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick will help others learn about Lyme disease and inspire prevention. Karen lives in Richmond, Virginia with her favorite four-footed friends Chowser and Kelly; and her special two-footed love, Bill.
To learn more about Karen and Lyme disease, follow her on Facebook or visit her website.
Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick
written by Karen Gloyer
illustrated by Maryana Kachmar
Abby and her favorite four-footed friend Chowser discover all kinds of creatures while walking in the wild, wild woods one day. What they don’t expect to find is Nick, a no-good, icky, black-legged tick. Find out what happens when Nick the icky tick finds them...and the lessons they learn about how to stay safe on future outdoor adventures!
Author Karen Gloyer, a Lyme disease survivor, created Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick as a simple way to teach children and families the importance of tick prevention and awareness. Gloyer knows firsthand the hardships that come with this debilitating ailment—and that prevention and awareness are key. Let Abby, Chowser, and Nick the icky tick help teach the children in your life to “Look carefully!” as they learn to keep safe outdoors. Helpful tips and an afterword by Kenneth B. Singleton, M.D., M.P.H., a leading U.S. authority on Lyme disease treatment and prevention, round out this important book.
More About Karen Gloyer
After her adventures outdoors with her dog, Chowser, Abby comes home with an unwanted friend: Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick! But thanks to her parents, Abby is able to get the treatment she needs after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Without the support of her parents, getting rid of Nick would have been a lot harder! Similarly, author of Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick Karen Gloyer had the support of Bill, who helped her through her own Lyme Disease healing process, and ultimately the completion and publication of her children's book. Even more exciting - Bill and Karen are now engaged! The support of friends and family, like Abby's parents in the story and Bill in Karen's life, is important for everyone, especially those fighting off icky ticks like Nick!
Many authors have that one teacher who really inspired them. For Karen, it was Mrs. Windsor, her English teacher at her high school in Germantown, Tennessee. When grading papers, Mrs. Windsor would take off ten points per grammatical mistake, so Karen quickly adapted her writing skills to meet these standards. Karen describes Mrs. Windsor as a “brilliant teacher” who is responsible for motivating her to write and piquing her interest in Shakespeare, a subject that befuddles many a high-schooler. Because of all Karen learned in this class, she still handwrites all of her stories before typing them to this day! Thanks, Mrs. Windsor, for your contribution to Karen’s talent, which would later produce the amazing and educational children’s book, Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick! Here we have Karen pictured with some of her more recent inspirations, friends from her Lyme Disease support group, Lyme Warriors, flashing their own copies of Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick.
During her time as part of the Connecticut Audubon Society, hiking and spending time outdoors, author Karen Gloyer contracted Lyme disease, though it would be fifteen years before she was officially diagnosed. Years passed, and Karen was misdiagnosed numerous times -- doctors pointed to mononucleosis to explain her symptoms. Thirteen years later, her health took a turn for the worse, and she was admitted to the hospital. She lost her ability to read and write, skills she later regained by reading children's books. It was another year and a half before Karen would finally be diagnosed correctly with Lyme disease by Dr. Hedaya, who would refer her to Lyme disease specialist, Dr. Singleton (who wrote the afterword in Karen's book!). Nick, the No Good, Icky Tick, Karen's debut children's book, is a nod to her love for the books that helped her read and write again, and to the cause closest to her heart: Lyme Disease Awareness.