New York, NY – Literati with Lyme Introduction at NYU

New York, NY – Literati with Lyme Introduction at NYU

New York, NY – Literati with Lyme Introduction at NYU

I want to welcome you here this evening on behalf of the Lyme Disease Association and the Literati with Lyme who have come together publicly to discuss how the disease has impacted them professionally and personally. They have recognized that we can no longer allow this disease and its sufferers to be ridiculed, shunned, embarrassed, and belittled. The way to change those behaviors is through science and through forums such as this where known professionals who stand to lose their careers from the ravages of this disease boldly and publicly speak out about their experiences.

Tonight the Lyme disease victims, prominent physicians, and prominent publishing professionals all stand together and say, Lyme is serious. Lyme causes neurologic problems. Lyme causes psychiatric manifestations. Lyme sometimes requires long term treatment. Lyme is not a yuppie disease, nor a housewife’s disease, although either one can get it. Lyme is not easy to diagnose nor easy to cure.

In fact, Lyme is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in this country today and the most prevalent vector-borne bacterial disease in the world. Its range has spread. Its numbers march upward, and its casualties mount. Government spending is not commensurate with the magnitude of the disease. Its vast suffering is unchecked worldwide. Many of the victims are our children.

The Lyme Disease Association and all its affiliates and chapters nationwide are working together to stop the spread of Lyme and all other tick-borne diseases, many of which can be acquired by the bite of the same tick. Anaplasmosis, babesiosis, bartonellosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, STARI, tularemia, tick paralysis─ the legion of tick-borne microbes grows larger every day. To that end, LDA and its Connecticut affiliate Time for Lyme are partnering with Columbia University to open an endowed research center there for chronic Lyme disease. LDA and its affiliates together have raised about $5 million for research and education on tick-borne diseases. Together, we have become a cohesive force which will finally batter down the resistance we have faced for so many years, a resistance not primarily based on science but on attitudes, vested interests, and perhaps other agendas not yet known.

Current science is supporting what our physicians have already suspected: the Lyme bacterium has the ability to freely exchange genetic material among its strains, it has the ability to become intracellular and avoid detection and treatment, and it has the ability to change forms. Guidelines for the management of chronic Lyme disease have been published by ILADS and accepted by the National Guidelines clearing house under the Department of Health & Human Services. The NIH/Columbia study with Dr Brian Fallon as principle investigator has shown long term treatment is effective.

Patients are providing the resources for education, the resources for science, and now they are providing the voices which will bring down that wall of resistance. Writers have always played a pivotal role in the history of world events─they have printed and shouted their messages at great peril to themselves and enabled many great truths to come to the forefront all over the world. The writers tonight are following in the footsteps of those who have come before, they are revealing the truth about Lyme disease so that hundreds of thousands of people world-wide will soon be able to take back control of their lives not only from the disease organism but from the entrenched entities who have fought to define this disease into something they can manipulate for their own purposes.

Philosopher Arthur Schopenauer said
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

We are ready for that acceptance.

Thank you.