Tag Archives: giving thanks

lyme partnership

Together in Partnership: Giving thanks to an amazing community

With 2018 drawing to a close, I want to take a moment to thank you for being a part of our community. Your generous support—whether in research dollars, program participation, or simply standing in solidarity with us as we move closer to a Lyme-free world—is deeply appreciated.

As the leading 501(c)(3) dedicated to conquering Lyme and tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness, Global Lyme Alliance seeks to bring us all closer to improved diagnostics, more effective treatments, and a cure. Earlier in the year we announced that we had surpassed the $10 million mark in research grant funding. In 2018 alone, we awarded close to $2 million in research grants to 15 researchers at leading national academic and medical institutions.

We are fortunate to have many talented partners. More than 35 are leading researchers from world-class institutions. For many—Drs. Kim Lewis, Ying Zhang, and John Aucott among them—GLA was the first grant-making organization to invest in their research. Our Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of 16 of the world’s top researchers and clinical innovators, works diligently to guide us toward those studies which have the greatest likelihood of delivering significant, marketable advances.

GLA-funded scientists have achieved many advances this year, including progress in the development of a reliable diagnostic test; identifying potentially new therapeutic drugs, and exploring drug combinations that successfully attack “persister” cells, which successfully evade conventional antibiotic treatment, as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

We have increased tick awareness levels through robust educational initiatives involving physicians, teachers, summer camps, and the general public. And we are particularly proud of our partnership with Ivy Oaks Analytics™ which has worked with GLA to reach more than 125,000 children (and their families) at 150 summer camps in 8 states through our “Be Tick AWARE” Program, the only such program of its kind.

A few highlights from 2018

Addressing the room at GLA's 4th annual NYC Gala
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Our thanks, too, to colleagues in the Lyme world—including but not limited to Focus on Lyme, Alex Hudson Lyme Foundation, LivLyme, LymeDisease.org—who are vital associates in our largely collaborative effort to address a baleful threat which puts our vulnerable children at highest risk.

Thanks, too, to our passionate fundraisers, including our major donors, event sponsors, our athletic endurance program participants, Education Ambassadors, our thousands of first-time annual donors, and our celebrity partners who have helped us reach more than 10 million people through strategic outreach efforts. I want to single out our newest partner, The Avril Lavigne Foundation, with whom we will grow out vital outreach efforts. And a special thanks to our hard-working Board of Directors, including our newest members Avril Lavigne, Nancy Del Genio, and Peter Norley.

We hope you are as proud of GLA’s accomplishments as we are. If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to read about our just launched “Lyme is Real” year-end fundraising and awareness campaign. And remember, a year-end gift is fully tax deductible. Together in partnership, we can keep the momentum going to beat this disease!

Happy Holidays,



Scott Santarella
Global Lyme Alliance

Looking Back, Looking Ahead, Giving Thanks

by Jennifer Crystal

The end of the year is a time to reflect. For those of us with a chronic illness, like Lyme disease, it can take a little more effort to look back, look ahead, and give thanks.


The end of the year is a time for reflection. As we prepare for what’s ahead, we look back at what’s happened over the last 12 months. By any measure, 2016 has been a tough year. We’ve suffered traumatic national and global events. Many people have suffered physically, mentally and emotionally from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Some have gotten better, but some are still struggling, wondering when their sufferings will end.

The end of 2016 puts a hard stamp on all that has been and opens us up to us a blank slate for 2017.

We don’t have control over what’s going to happen. We can’t turn our calendars and write “Tuesday, January 2nd: Get better.” We can, however, control our perspective on what has happened and what might happen.

Think about driving a car. In order to do so safely, we have to glance in the rearview mirror every so often. We can’t merge, pass, or exit without knowing what’s going on behind us. What we see in the mirror helps us determine the best course of action when moving forward.

There are rules of the road for life, too. We have to learn from the tough roads we’ve already traveled. For Lyme patients, it’s helpful to think about questions such as: What did I do to take good care of myself in the past year? What created an obstacle to my getting better? What changes can I make—to medication, schedule, sleep hygiene, support system, attitude—to help me on my journey to health? Which lessons do I want to take with me into 2017 and which do I want to leave behind?


If we are to keep moving forward, we have to leave those bad times and bad choices behind. We reflect on them, but then we drive away, watching them grow smaller in the rearview. The terrible experiences of 2016 may loom large now, but someday, they’ll just be a blip on your map—even if you’re currently bedridden, racked with pain, soaked with nightsweats, and crazed by the thoughts and songs and images flashing in your head. I know this because, as so many past years drew to a close, that was me. And now I’m driving far, far away from all that, hoping to never turn back.

I also know this because rearview mirrors aren’t the only point of reflection in a car. Don’t forget about side mirrors which sometimes catch obstacles in your blind spot. The message scrawled across those mirrors is clear: “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.” In other words, good health may be closer than you think. Better days in 2017 may only be hiding in your blind spot, ready to pull into view at any time.

And so, we must remain hopeful.

What was good about this year for you? There must be something. Did you finally meet the right doctor? Did a friend drive you to the pharmacy, or sit with you on a particularly hard day and make you laugh? Did flowers grow outside your bedroom window?

As I reflect on the year, I find it helpful to create a simple list of good things that happened, and then make a list of small goals for the New Year:

  • If I am not comfortable with my current doctor, I will search for a new one (click here for help finding a Lymeliterate physician;
  • I will work to get off of just one of my medications or supplements, if I am physically ready to do so;
  • I will find a new way to pamper myself (how about a warm bath each night, or a subscription to a light magazine?);
  • Each night I will write down three good things about the day;
  • I will give thanks to people who support me (give a hug, send a note of appreciation, or frame their favorite quote)

Writing these lists makes me feel grateful and hopeful. It makes me feel ready to take one final glance in the rearview mirror, and drive forward into 2017. See you in the New Year!

jennifer-crystalOpinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. She is working on a memoir about her journey with chronic tick-borne illness. Contact her at [email protected]