SILICON VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bay Area Lyme Foundation today announced that it received a $6.5 million grant from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, the largest private donation ever given to Lyme disease research. The gift will support Bay Area Lyme's mission of using new scientific research and innovations to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure.
"I was shocked to learn how many people suffer from Lyme disease in silence, and how much we still need to do to raise awareness and help find a cure," said Alex Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. "This gift is incredibly personal to me as I have experienced, first-hand, the chronic and debilitating side effects of this relatively unknown disease. We share Bay Area Lyme Foundation's desire to find a cure for Lyme disease and hope that this gift will help pave the way to that important work."
"This is a truly meaningful donation as it will help us continue our efforts to encourage collaboration among researchers, and significantly increase the amount of research currently being conducted," says Linda Giampa, executive director of Bay Area Lyme Foundation. "A great amount of research is needed to understand the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. This philanthropic grant will help us continue to fund innovative Lyme disease projects and, more importantly, attract new research talent into the field of Lyme."
One hundred percent of the funds donated by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation will go toward research efforts as all administrative expenses of Bay Area Lyme Foundation are covered through 2019 by a considerable donation from The Laurel Foundation.
About the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is committed to inspiring philanthropy and community service – with special interest in children's health, education, veterans, and the arts – by creating awareness, offering guidance, and leading by example to show the world what giving can do. The Cohen Foundation's Lyme Initiative is investing to cure Lyme, which infects over 300,000 Americans each year and leaves 10-20% with persistent, life-altering symptoms. Through funding leading researchers and innovators, the Foundation will improve our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat all stages of Lyme disease.
About Bay Area Lyme Foundation
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a national nonprofit organization committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, is a leading private sponsor of innovative Lyme disease research in the US. A national 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley, the Foundation collaborates with world-class scientists and institutions to accelerate medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease. It is also dedicated to providing reliable, fact-based information so that prevention and the importance of early treatment are common knowledge. For more information about Lyme disease or to get involved, visit www.bayarealyme.org or call us at 650-530-2439.
About Lyme Disease
One of the most common infectious diseases in the country, Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests. There are about 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2015 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, as many as one million Americans may be suffering from the impact of its debilitating long-term symptoms and complications, according to Bay Area Lyme Foundation estimates.
SOURCE Bay Area Lyme Foundation