WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Lyme Action, the leading nonprofit dedicated to growing federal funding for Lyme disease, honored Members of Congress who have demonstrated extraordinary support in the push to cure Lyme Disease – the most prevalent vector-borne illness and the most prevalent tick-borne illness in the United States, with nearly a half million new cases estimated each year.
"Lyme is a frustrating and debilitating disease, but it's a solvable problem," said Bonnie Crater, co-founder of the Center for Lyme Action. "Our award recipients have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in working to finding a cure and we are honored to have them as long-term partners in this important fight for all Americans."
Receiving the Center for Lyme Action Lyme Champion Award were Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04), Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07), and Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL-08).
Several previous recipients of the Center for Lyme Action Lyme Champion Award, including Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) provided remarks at the annual meeting.
"Unfortunately, Lyme disease cases are on the rise," said Maine Senator Susan Collins in video remarks. "That's why I authored the Tick Act, which calls for $30 million in annual funding. We must not lose momentum in research to combat the devastating diseases that can be caused by a tick bite."
"In my home state, it's still freezing cold in Minnesota but before you know it, Minnesotans will head out to our amazing lakes, rivers, State and National Parks and boundary waters," said Minnesota Senator Tina Smith in video remarks. "All over the country, people are spending more and more time outside so we must better understand the risks of contracting Lyme and other vector-borne diseases."
"Lyme disease is exploding all over this country and is especially highly endemic in my home state of New Jersey," said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-chair of the House Lyme Disease Caucus. "We must continue to combat this debilitating disease with enhanced federal support for robust research and diagnostics and continue searching for effective treatments for Lyme patients."
"As many Lyme patients and their families know, we still don't have a solid diagnostic or a reliable therapy for Persistent Lyme Disease patients," said Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Co-Chair of the House Lyme Disease Caucus and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. "Lyme and tick-borne disease represent a major public health threat. I will continue to fund research opportunities and other legislation that brings us closer to finding a cure."
The Center for Lyme Action's awards event builds on the momentum of 65% increase in federal funding for Lyme disease across federal agencies from $55 million in FY20 to $108 million in FY21. Federal funding for Lyme disease continues to be very low at $170 per patient compared with other more rare diseases. Less common diseases West Nile and Malaria have 200 times and 800 times the amount of per patient funding.
"The awards ceremony was all about recognizing and thanking our supporters," Crater said. "Now we are getting back to work – spending time meeting with Members of Congress to ensure Appropriators understand the gravity of Lyme Disease and the need to fully fund the Kay Hagan Tick Act and grow research funding for Lyme and tick-borne illnesses."
To date, Lyme disease has been reported in every state except Hawaii and 65 countries worldwide. For more information, go to centerforlymeaction.org; also follow on Twitter @lyme_action and on and Instagram @CenterforLymeAction.
About Center for Lyme Action
Center for Lyme Action is a 501c4 non-profit organization dedicated to growing federal funding for Lyme and tick-borne diseases. The organization is member funded and supported by visionary individuals and organizations such as Bay Area Lyme Foundation and Project Lyme. For more information see CenterForLymeAction.org.
View original content to download multimedia:
SOURCE Center for Lyme Action