Friday, May 2, 2014

Founding of SpiroChicks: The Backstory

Did we ever tell you how SpiroChicks was founded? It's our fifth birthday!

Kim Kooyers and Alix Mayer co-founded SpiroChicks in 2009 after Kim posted on Facebook that she was buying an infrared sauna. Alix immediately instant-messaged Kim asking, "Do we have the same thing?" Infrared saunas are frequently recommended to Lyme disease patients as a way to detox and make antibiotics work more effectively, so it was pretty obvious to Alix what Kim's new diagnosis was.  Of course, Kim immediately confirmed that she had just been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Elizabeth Edwards with Silicon Valley Mom Bloggers, 2007
Alix and Kim first met while reading each others' articles on Silicon Valley Moms Blog, a collaborative blog about being a mother in Silicon Valley. We met in person in 2007 when Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Presidential hopeful John Edwards, had a private meeting with sassy select Silicon Valley Mom Bloggers. It was then we realized we were both struggling with yet-undiagnosed illness.

Once we were both in Camp Lyme, we wanted a place like Silicon Valley Moms Blog where many authors could share their personal journeys with Lyme disease. We modeled SpiroChicks after that blog and began inviting other authors. We were far from experts, so we decided we would focus on the hardships and humor of living with Lyme disease.

The name SpiroChicks is derived from the name of the infectious organism in Lyme, the spiral-shaped bacteria called a spirochete. Chicks needs no other explanation, but Alix was thinking of her late mom, a pioneer in wind energy who was responsible for forcing Colorado's utility to build the first wind farms in the state. That's not a non-sequiter. Alix's mom referred to herself as a Wind Chick. So the word chick felt right, and it blended well with spirochete. We are also fond of neologisms since the URLs always just happen to be available.

As of 2014, we and our writers are more infrequent in posting articles at SpiroChicks, but we are more active than ever in our offline lives. Alix and Kim are substantially recovered, as are many of our other writers. Some of our writers are not yet recovered and we think of them every day.

Alix is co-authoring an academic book about Lyme disease. Kim is pursuing fiction writing.

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