It is with much fanfare and true allegiance I announce to all, the annual Lyme Disease fundraising event hosted by Tick Borne Disease Alliance. Please open the link here to the evite: TBDA EVITE
TBDA is a forward thinking, committed foundation aimed at tackling the serious issues Lyme disease creates in the lives of all too many. Lyme Light Radio featured cyclist John Donnally each week all autumn as he biked across America for Lyme disease awareness. What a pleasure it was to share the journey with remarkable John and my friends at TBDA. Please read this wonderful and insightful letter below from TBDA executive director, Jodi Nass. She is a talent and true gem!!
Come join us for a sparkling night of care, compassion and beauty. I will broadcast “Lyme Light Radio with Katina” from the cocktail reception!!!! Good things are happening for Lyme disease and TBDA’s Masked Gala will be sensational!
Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH
PLEASE SAVE THE DATE MAY 1, 2014
TBDA Annual Lyme Disease Fundraising Gala- Masked Ball
Executive Director’s Letter
With the spring and summer seasons right around the corner, now is the perfect time to encourage more conversations about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases with your loved ones, friends and colleagues. What better way to do so than joining the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance on May 1, 2014, at the annual gala at Chelsea Piers in New York City. This year’s theme, entitled “The Great Imitator Masquerade Ball,” looks to shed light on this debilitating disease, which often mimics other diseases with similar symptoms.
Dynamic, inclusive and passionate, TBDA is dedicated to raising awareness, supporting initiatives and promoting advocacy to find a cure for tick-borne diseases, including Lyme. This year’s gala will be the most influential fundraising event of the year, and it is our privilege to introduce some of the country’s most esteemed and admired individuals, who have graciously lent their support to help us unmask this disguised disease.
It is our pleasure to acknowledge International Grand Prix equestrian jump rider and World Cup finalist Judy Garofalo Torres as this year’s Humanitarian Honoree. A Lyme sufferer herself, Judy has shown great strength in her brave fight against Lyme and possesses an unrivaled commitment to raising awareness and funds for both human and animal Lyme sufferers across the country.
This year’s gala will be led by our Mistress of Ceremonies, Heather Thomson, President and Founder of Yummy Tummy and star of “Real Housewives of New York City.” TBDA’s Honorary Chairs include a group of individuals, all of whom have been personally affected by Lyme as well. Former Major League Baseball Player Tom Seaver; 2014 Olympic Freestyle Skier Angeli VanLaanen and Punk & Indie Rock Musician Kathleen Hanna will all be recognized for their determination to speak out about Lyme and efforts to raise awareness towards this debilitating disease.
It is with great honor that we introduce this year’s Courage Awardees; Jennifer Daily, a graduate student at John Hopkins Materials Science and Engineering Department, who successfully published her work on the development of a highly sensitive and selective biosensor to accurately detect tick-related infections and Kelly Downing, who publicly shared her enduring experience with Lyme on the Katie Couric Show this past October, after suffering a sudden paralysis and miraculous recovery from living with undiagnosed Lyme for 15 years. These two women, along with fellow Courage Awardee John Donnally, have shown unmatched strength and drive to rally entire communities together by employing their painful stories in an effort to accelerate research and acknowledgement of Lyme.
It is not without the tremendous support of Award-winning Actor and current start of television series, “The Following,” Kevin Bacon; Cardiovascular surgeon and host of the nationally syndicated “Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Mehmet Oz; award-winning Actor, Director and Screenwriter, Ben Stiller, and Major League Baseball team the New York Mets, all of whom have contributed their powerful voices to bring further attention to the alarming threat of Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
As many of you may be aware, this past year TBDA has been working hard to raise national awareness to the importance of the growing threat of this disease. John Donnally, Courage Awardee and Lyme disease advocate who continues to fight the challenges of the disease, completed a national two-month, cross country bicycle campaign entitled “Bite Back for a Cure,” where he traversed more than 3,500 miles and cycled through more than 200 towns and cities from San Francisco to New York City, meeting with other Lyme sufferers. A powerful message from John Donnally can be viewed at TBDA.org.
TBDA was also responsible for holding two forums, one at Weill-Cornell Medical Center and the other on Capitol Hill. On Capital Hill, TBDA met with representatives from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office and staffers throughout the country to discuss the growing epidemic and the federal government’s efforts to improve awareness, prevention and diagnostics. Kirsten Gillibrand has joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jack Reed (R-RI) and Shelton Whitehouse (D- RI) to cosponsor the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act, which would establish a Tick-Borne Disease Advisory Committee and invest additional federal funds into Lyme disease research and education. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) – who founded and co-chaired the Lyme Disease Caucus in Congress – has sponsored similar legislation in the House. In addition, TBDA is taking great strides towards the future of diagnostic testing by contributing resources towards a bio-repository, which will be the basis for developing a more thorough analytical diagnostic tool.
Helping to kick off May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month, “The Great Imitator Masquerade Ball” will be held Thursday, May 1 at 6:00 p.m. We would be delighted for you to join us for a festive evening of cocktails, silent auction, dinner and awards program, featuring important messages from fellow Lyme advocates and courageous individuals battling this nationwide epidemic.
Thank you for helping us unmask the disguised disease, growing at a ten-fold rate since last year alone, and for supporting the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance’s dedication to raising awareness, supporting research and improved diagnostics and promoting advocacy for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
We look forward to wonderful evening together. Your generous support will help TBDA make sense of this tremendous public health epidemic and help to come together as a united front to raise awareness and funds for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Tick-Borne Disease Alliance