Vampire Diaries Star Bites Back Against Tick-Borne Illness in New Campaign

Fans of the The CW’s The Vampire Diaries may fantasize about being bitten by one (or both of) the smoldering, undead Salvatore brothers, but being bitten by a tick? Decidedly less sexy.

Which is why Candice Accola, who plays Caroline on the hit series, is helping the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) — a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, supporting initiatives and promoting advocacy to find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases — launch its new grassroots campaign, Bite Back for a Cure.

The online portion of the campaign, led by Accola, aims to accumulate “a national video quilt” of individual statements given by people whose lives have been affected by tick-borne diseases. This “video quilt” will be sent to state and federal legislators, encouraging them to support Lyme-disease legislation.

The campaign urges supporters to visit, where they can download and print advocacy signs printed with phrases like “Be the Change,” “Take a Stand,” “Change the System” and “Support Research.” From there, participants can take their own photo with the sign of their choice and upload it to the TBDA website or share it via social media. TBDA will then compile all the photos from across the country into the “video quilt.”

Full disclosure: I am a past Lyme-sufferer who went nearly a year before proper diagnosis and treatment, and The Vampire Diaries has been my very-guilty pleasure show for the past few years, so I am more than a little biased. That said, I find the concept of this campaign particularly heartening — Lyme can be an incredibly isolating illness, especially when even medical professionals misunderstand and mistreat it (and often those suffering from it). So, the idea of multiple individual stories and faces being literally woven together into a “quilt” (a warming, comforting image) is a powerful one.

“TBDA is thrilled to launch Bite Back For A Cure, which will help us build momentum on a national scale and reach local communities throughout the country to fight what has become a truly national health epidemic,” said TBDA President Staci Grodin in a release.

Candice Accola PSA from Max Kaplan on Vimeo.

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