With 2019 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, awareness, and patient services, Global Lyme Alliance seeks to bring us all closer to improved diagnostics, more effective treatments, and a cure. Our mission is not only an investment in research, education and awareness programs; it’s an investment in people.
Earlier in the year, we announced that In 2019 alone, we awarded close to $2 million in research grants to researchers at top-tier universities and medical institutions in the U.S. and abroad. This includes underwriting the largest population study ever to examine psychiatric disorders and suicide linked to Lyme disease.
Additionally, 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 potential new therapeutic drugs, and the launch of the 1st observational study on a Lyme disease treatment protocol. It’s the first in a series of clinical studies to determine the effectiveness of non-validated, physician-developed Lyme treatment regimens.
We are proud to have increased tick awareness levels through robust educational initiatives involving physicians, teachers, summer camps, the general public and through our brand partnerships. We are particularly proud of the launch of the Lyme disease community’s first—peer-to-peer mentor program. The program is a free resource that matches those affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases with volunteers who provide emotional support and hope.
Our thanks, too, to colleagues in the Lyme world—including but not limited to Focus on Lyme, Alex Hudson Lyme Foundation, LivLyme, LymeDisease.org, and the LymeLight Foundation—who are vital associates in our largely collaborative effort to address a baleful threat which puts our vulnerable children at highest risk. We cannot forget our passionate fundraisers – especially our committed event volunteers in Chicago, NJ, and Westchester. They put on seamless events that helped us raise funds, raise awareness and educate.
We are forever grateful to 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 dedicated partners, The Avril Lavigne Foundation and our board member Avril Lavigne, who have helped us grow our most vital outreach efforts. Special thanks also goes to our hard-working Board of Directors, including our newest board members, Erin Walker, Karma Newberry, and Steve Lefkowitz.
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 newly launched, “Two Million by 2020” year-end fundraising campaign. And remember, a year-end gift is fully tax-deductible. Together in partnership, we can keep the momentum going to beat this disease!
Global Lyme Alliance