HELPING PAVE A MEDICAL PATH TO WELLNESS
The present lack of available medical help for Lyme disease is unacceptable.
Lyme disease has devastated a number of my family members lives, as well as my own. Millions remain debilitated with the misfortune of misdiagnosis. They and their family's suffer great financial burden, as many need home care and Lyme is most often not covered by insurance. Symptoms that mimic RA, MS, ALS, Autism and Alzheimers along with unreliable diagnostics and lack of research and education make it difficult to diagnose. This is a public health epidemic. I am determined, utilizing all my resources and working hard,
to help bring us closer to a cure.
My aunt prematurely died from Lyme, my mother, once vibrant and active, from Lyme seldom gets out and my children have not had the life of normal teenagers to say the least. Lyme disease, is a bit like termites destroying the foundation of a home, lyme bacterium impairs necessary bodily functions including the brain, wreaking havoc, even though the outside of the body like a home, appear normal, till the destructive, debilitating later stage.
I am proud to have helped found Bay Area Lyme Foundation and to have been heavily involved from 2011 to 2015. In addition, to have created, chaired and hosted the first three LymeAid benefits for research and awareness at our home in Silicon Valley. We trust BAL will continue to do good work, however, my husband, Laird and I have resigned from the Bay Area Lyme Foundation as of August 2015 and are continueing with the work we began prior at Stanford.
Laird and I have launched a newly found charitable organization, Stand4Lyme Foundation to focus our philanthropic efforts at Stanford University and have established the Stand4Lyme Fund at Stanford. Through direct contributions to Stanford, donors have an exciting opportunity to partner with an interdisciplinary, collaborative collection of brilliant minds who share a sense of urgency to accelerate cutting-edge research in Lyme disease. The world can Stand united behind this revolutionary platform, continuity of efforts and exceptional and unique program at Stanford, that includes collaborations at other leading institutions and holds great promise to solve the puzzles that may one day bring a cure.
I nearly lost my life to Lyme in 2011 and Lyme disease has stolen both of my daughters youth. Laird and I will not stand by while it steals their young adulthood and is possibly passed on to their children. We stand up to the challenge of finding answers for our family and the millions who remain debilitated, directing our efforts to the collective knowledge and science of some of the world’s leading scientists at Stanford to expedite a potential curative treatment for Lyme disease. Please stand united and partner in “Paving a Medical Path to Wellness for Lyme Disease.”
Sherry Cagan - Founder and President
Joins Forces With Stanford Scientists
Stand4Lyme® Foundation has launched a groundbreaking, collaborative Lyme research platform to accelerate a cure for Lyme disease partnering with the Stanford School of Medicine’s Stanford Lyme Disease Working Group (SLWG), which includes collaboration at other leading institutions such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Columbia. Leveraging Stanford’s critical assets fills major gaps in Lyme research and holds great potential to develop a cure.
Revolutionary Lyme Research Platform at Stanford
Rallies National Support
Celebrity honorary chair, Yolanda Hadid, some of the world’s most esteemed scientists and physicians, prominent philanthropists and Who’s Who guests from around the world, whose families have been infected with Lyme disease (the fastest growing infectious disease in the US,) rallied together at Stand4Lyme® Foundation’s Catalyst 4 The Cure Concert May 22nd to STAND united to accelerate a cure for Lyme disease.
The 350 guests took part in Making Lyme History, shaking their booties to the sounds of KC and the Sunshine Band, live in concert, who made a generous $100,000 in-kind donation towards their performance. The sold-out event was held at the estate of Stand4Lyme’s founders, Sherry and Laird Cagan with majestic panoramic views of Silicon Valley.
Stand4Lyme’s launch raised $1 million in contributions and pledges to benefit the Stanford Lyme Working Group’s research program which includes collaborations at other leading institutions such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Tulane and Duke.
WE WILL FIND A CURE!
"That Tick Bit the Wrong Chick"
I am turning my devastating ten-year battle with Lyme disease into positive territory. With the help of my husband and four members of our community, the six of us co-founded the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. A science-focused 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in California‘s Silicon Valley, which opened its doors at the beginning of 2012.
In a ten-year search for answers, I’ve spent endless hours researching the disease. My appetite for information led me to attend numerous medical and clinical Lyme disease conferences. I read dozens of books and have reached out to nearly every Lyme expert around the world to educate myself on Lyme, available treatments, and ways nutrition and healthy habits can help support my immune system. I should have my PhD by now! I know just how bewildering and uncharted the Lyme disease frontier is. If I had been given accurate information when I was first bitten, or received treatment right away, much of what I endured could have been prevented.
I want to help prevent the needless suffering of others. It is unacceptable that patients must wade through the challenges of finding appropriate medical care.
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation is to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure and to make prevention common knowledge. I am standing up to Lyme disease. Regardless of whether I am under treatment or hooked up to an IV pole and or no matter how sick I feel, I am determined to bring the most brilliant minds together to tackle this problem. We must find the right path through interdisciplinary scientific research and collaborative efforts with world-class entities. We need reliable testing, effective treatments, and a cure. Philanthropic support, strong due diligence, and strategic planning will insure solutions.
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation (BAL) funded research projects at Stanford and prior I met with a number of scientists, heads of departments, and the Dean of the prestigious Stanford University Medical School. As a result, we are pleased that Stanford established the Stanford Lyme Working Group, the first interdisciplinary collaborative working group focused on Lyme in the country, led by more than 2-dozen esteemed scientists and co-chaired by two faculty chairpersons (pictured above) . They have convened to explore the many areas relevant to Lyme and related tick- borne diseases: neurology, immunology, infectious disease, pain management, bioinformatics, psychiatry, and psychology. It is likely that these collaborative efforts will not only uncover answers about Lyme, but may impact many other related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and MS. Results from one BAL-funded ecological study also proved there is indeed Lyme disease in California along with other strains and co- infections.
I created and chaired LymeAid, the Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s annual celebrity benefit dinner dance concert, the first three years at my husband Laird and I's home in Silicon Valley. This exclusive and intimate “Evening of Discovery and Hope” informs, engages, and inspires. At Bay Area Lyme's Spring 2013 premier event, we raised nearly $500K and brought together some of the leading scientists, physicians and ecologists in the country as well as many of Silicon valley’s most dynamic influential business minds and philanthropists in a setting with panoramic views of Felt Lake and the San Francisco Bay. The event featured Daryl Hall from Hall & Oates. who is also living with the challenges of Lyme disease. LymeAid 2014 featured the English Beat and LymeAid 2015 featuring Huey Lewis and the News live in Concert, collectively raising $1.5 Million.
Holding other events to raise awareness and funds, presented at LymeAid is the Emerging Leader Award, a $100K Grant, with the purpose of encouraging young post docs to put their efforts towards solutions for Lyme.
Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases, yet there is little NIH funding. There is urgency for answers; the misfortune of misdiagnosis is unacceptable. There are also a number of popular misconceptions. For example, mice and grey squirrels are the primary Lyme bacterium carriers here in northern California (not deer) and not all will present a bullseye rash when bitten (many never even get a skin rash at all, contrary to what one might read). In fact, nymph ticks — as small as a poppy seed — can bite and be gone without one ever knowing they have been bitten.
Though the CDC reported in August, 2013 that there are 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year — 10 times more cases reported than previously thought — most people do not know enough about the disease. The public generally does not hear about the millions who didn’t receive early treatment, don’t respond to treatment, or cannot find or afford help and then go on to suffer debilitating chronic pain, or even death.
It is heartbreaking that many Lyme patients live in silent despair. Discovering people in wheel chairs who have lost their jobs, homes, and families after contracting Lyme and learning of the millions who still remain ill and highly debilitated with this silent peril is what drives me to take action. It is also why we started the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
And as a good friend of mine remarked, “ That tick bit the wrong chick ! ”