TOUCHED BY LYME: Launching a “moonshot” to cure Lyme by 2030
The Center for Lyme Action (CLA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing federal funding for Lyme disease research, today outlined a strategy to eliminate Lyme disease by 2030.
Dubbed the “Lyme Moonshot,” the initiative calls for establishing a TICK office in the White House to coordinate efforts. TICK stands for Tick-borne Innovation, Collaboration, and Knowledge. (The moonshot label evokes President Kennedy’s 1961 call for America to put a man on the moon within 10 years. It took a lot of co-ordinated effort, but we got there.)
Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people per year in the United States, with 1.5 million people continuing to suffer from persistent Lyme symptoms. According to CLA co-founder Bonnie Crater, the illness poses a daunting challenge, but “with the right focus, the country can meet that challenge.”
She notes that Lyme patients currently have no reliable diagnostics and no practicable therapy for persistent conditions. “The Lyme Moonshot will leverage all of government alongside the private sector, research institutions and healthcare providers.”
Crater unveiled the plan at an online meeting, geared towards Congressional staffers and the Lyme community. She was joined by her brother, CLA co-founder Jeff Crater; Sen. Susan Collins of Maine; Eric D. Hargan, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF Ret.), first female Thunderbird pilot and Lyme disease patient advocate; and Dr. John Aucott, Director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.
Lyme moonshot goals
The five strategic goals of the Lyme Moonshot, Cure Lyme Disease by 2030 are:
- Lead from the Top
- Catalyze New Scientific Breakthroughs for Evidence-Based Solutions
- Unleash the Power of Data
- Improve Patient Outcomes and Access to Care
- Accelerate Impact through Public-Private Partnership
The CLA has written a 29-page policy paper detailing their vision for each of those goals. For more information about the Lyme Moonshot, go to www.lymemoonshot.org and follow on Twitter @lyme_action.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s Vice-president and Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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