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. Dr. Neil Spector of Duke University, a researcher who helped develop the breast cancer therapy, HER2, had to undergo a heart transplant due to undiagnosed Lyme disease. Dr. Spector is now collaborating with the Working Group and has added his support of the new foundation. Sponsors from other supporting Lyme organizations, such as Heather Hearst’s Project Lyme, Focus on Lyme and speaker Phyllis Mervine on MyLymeData, a project of Lymedisease.org have come together in support of the launch of Stand4Lyme’s collaborative Lyme research platform along with several other sponsors such as Ferrari, Greg Goumas Real Estate Services and Patient Care America.
Honored were ten LYME100™ leaders, who pledged $50K or more to support the Stanford Lyme Working Group. Stand4Lyme commended them for taking a STAND 4 The Cure™ by presenting them with a bronze sculpture, by artist Sherry Cagan. Cagan sculpted a noble medical figure to honor those leaders who take a STAND to help find a cure for Lyme disease. Also honored was Yolanda Hadid for her contribution in Lyme awareness.
Stand4Lyme also hosted a symposium brunch the same day of the event for a more in-depth discussion on Lyme disease with the best and brightest minds from the major institutions, such as Dr. Irving Weissmann, Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology and Director, Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, who spoke at the event and is an advisor of the Stanford Lyme Working Group.
“Collaboration is a complex endeavor, so integrating the right partners is key. Through Stand4Lyme’s unique partnership with Stanford scientists and collaborative researchers, leveraging their critical assets, there is a potential to change the trajectory and take new discoveries from project to patient in the near future. This gives me great hope that Lyme patients will have a more promising future,” says Yolanda Hadid, Lyme disease advocate and a member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills TV show.
Stand4Lyme Foundation founder/President and Catalyst 4 The Cure Chair shared her personal connection to Lyme, “The catalyst to our family’s commitment to a cure draws from my personal near-death experience and my children’s daily struggles with Lyme disease. My husband and I founded Stand4Lyme, joining forces with Stanford scientists, to pave a medical path to wellness for patients at all stages of the disease, helping end prolonged suffering of millions.”
“Stand4Lyme is hot on the trail of curing this terrible disease. Stand4Lyme joining forces with Stanford will lead to answers,” asserts Bob Klein, Chairman of Americans for Cures and Chairman Emeritus of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
The conventional model of research incentivizes scientists to work in silos. The process of applying for individual grants is inherently slow, competitive and may not leverage work that has already been done. This trajectory must be changed. Stand4Lyme was created to establish a platform at Stanford to expedite the process, whereby an interdisciplinary group of scientists can work under a common umbrella organization, sharing findings and bringing together the most esteemed scientists at the major universities and practitioners in the field, for a cooperative and holistic approach to the problem. By breaking down the silos and collaborating across the country and the world, this can dramatically accelerate the research and development of accurate diagnostics and a cure.
“We at Stanford will do our best to make Lyme disease history,” states Mark Davis PhD Director of Stanford Institute for Immunology and Stanford Lyme Working Group Co-Director.
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Sherry Cagan - Founder/President/Chair