Too often today instead of spending time with our families having fun outdoors, we are spending time trying to protect them from the dangers which lurk not only in our public recreation areas but in our own backyards.
Our children 5-9 and 10-14 are at the highest risk of acquiring this disease which ravaged 274,440 new victims in 2007 alone, 31,340 of them new Jerseyians. NJ claims 12% of Lyme cases reported to the CDC nationally since 1990. Yet there is little to no awareness or monies expended on the disease in NJ or by the federal government. We have a bill in Congress which would provide $100 million for Lyme disease research, education and prevention, yet despite the NJ statistics, a local NJ Congressman has not put the bill up for a hearing in the House Health Subcommittee.
We need to make Lyme disease something more than a disease we all hear about, read about, and view clips about on U tube, we need to take actions that will save people from suffering and death due to Lyme disease. Today’s walk and run is one of the actions where we raise awareness about Lyme and raise funds to help research for a cure.
The Lyme disease Association has raised and distributed millions of dollars in its quest to get answers and has even with Time for Lyme, its Connecticut affiliate, endowed a research center at Columbia University in New York to perform cutting edge research such as the project published a week ago through the Center showing that patients with persistent Lyme encephalopathy do have objective abnormalities in functional brain activity, an important concrete finding.
LDA has been meeting and talking with CDC, NIH, EPA, US Army CHPPM, and other governmental officials to try to communicate the level of devastation Lyme disease is producing nationwide.
LDA’s Spotlight on Lyme is an event which raises awareness, generates funding and shows that people in NJ are concerned about Lyme disease and want something to be done about it.
The effort here today was spearheaded by those who are intimately acquainted with Lyme disease, Committee Event Co-Chairs Kim Cronin, Alyssa Murray, and Joan Wire, whose lives and families have been significantly altered by Lyme disease. They have spent countless hours putting together this event, and we are grateful to them and the organizing committee for their efforts. The Lyme Disease Association thanks all the sponsors for their generosity and all the participants for making this event a success.
Together, we will make a difference.