TBDA and X PRIZE Foundation Create "TBDA Diagnostic X PRIZE" Global Competition to Develop a Fail-Safe Diagnostic Tool for Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases
New York, NY (April 2012): Two successful organizations dedicated to awareness about Lyme and tick-borne diseases, Turn the Corner Foundation and The Tick-Borne Disease Initiative, have joined forces to form the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance, a new non-profit dedicated to increasing public awareness surround tick-borne diseases, including the most commonly known, Lyme Disease.
As part of its mission to educate the public about the alarming escalation of tick-borne diseases, TBDA is launching a national public awareness, advocacy and fundraising campaign. Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease and the most common tick-borne disease in the country. It’s increasingly virulent co-infections contribute to what is a major public health problem.
Along with TBDA’s efforts to raise awareness, the organization plans to embark on a quest to develop a reliable diagnostic tool as a first step toward eradicating tick-borne diseases. Working with others in the tick-borne disease community nationwide, TBDA seeks to help create a unified voice about this epidemic in order to make a difference. TBDA will be inviting other tick-borne disease-related organizations in the United States to work together in its efforts to coalesce a national movement around the issue.
“Despite how rapidly these devastating diseases are spreading, there is shockingly limited research being conducted, and misinformation and misconceptions abound,” said David Roth, Co-Chairman of TBDA’s Board of Directors and a Managing Director at Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. “It’s imperative that all of us work together – nonprofits, government agencies, and the health and medical communities – to stop tick-borne diseases from spreading. Through a determined, unified effort, we can find a cure for the next generation.”
At this time, there are no vaccines to prevent Lyme disease or co-infections occurring in the United States and available diagnostic tools have proven to be unreliable. Many sufferers of tick-borne illnesses are unaware that they are victims of these diseases due to a lack of understanding of the symptoms and because available diagnostic testing is not reliable. Awareness is extremely important for prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment.
The Center for Disease Control reports that people who are diagnosed in the early stages of Lyme disease and who are treated with appropriate antibiotics usually recover. However, approximately 10-20% of patients may experience recurring and persistent symptoms. There is concern that the actual number of cases of recurring illness may be much higher, making the need for early detection even more critical.
“Lyme and tick-borne diseases are an escalating public health issue that may be on track to be the next epidemic,” said Staci Grodin, President of TBDA’s Board of Directors. “Turn the Corner Foundation and The Tick-Borne Disease Initiative came to the conclusion that the most effective and successful way to get the word out about these serious diseases was to marshal our efforts and pool resources into a single organization that can take a leadership role.”
Turn the Corner Foundation was founded a decade ago by Staci and Richard Grodin, and The Tick-Borne Disease Initiative was created in 2010 by David Roth. Both Grodin and Roth were diagnosed with Lyme disease and co-infections. Their difficult experiences with ongoing misdiagnosis and finding effective medical treatments gave them the impetus to become personally involved in this public health issue and to help others, creating the separate institutions that have now come together to for the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance.
For more information about TBDA, statistics about Lyme and tick-borne diseases, as well as information about prevention and protection, please visit www.TBDAlliance.org.
Contact: Katie Murphy
Phil & Co.