The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 476,000 people each year get Lyme disease.
The annual gala brings together leaders in business, entertainment, and science, and to help the GLA conquer the disease.
Awareness and funding of Lyme disease are more important than ever,” said GLA’s CEO, Laura MacNeill.
According to the GLA, Pfizer and Valneva have a Lyme vaccine that is going into phase three of its clinical trials, but not enough information is known yet “to have a positive or negative view,” notes MacNeill.
The nonprofit is dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and last night, awards were presented to Kim Cleworth and Atty Cleworth, co-executive producers of a documentary about the struggles of living with Lyme disease, which is called I’m Not Crazy, I’m Sick.
Cleworth also was executive producer of a Tribeca Film Festival film, Please, Believe Me, about Vicky Logan’s struggles with Lyme disease.
I’m Not Crazy, I’m Sick follows Atty Cleworth’s diagnosis with Lyme disease in 2019 after six long years of chronic illness, and aims to raise awareness on how debilitating Lyme disease can be. They aim to create an endowment for uncompensated care, as well.
The night kicked off with performances by Broadway star Erich Bergen, known for his role in Jersey Boys, and Pia Toscano, an American Idol star, with a live auction to raise funds for the GLA by Jason Lamoreaux.
VIP attendees included Ashley Loren, star of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and Law & Order actor, Chris Meloni, as well as Real Housewives stars, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, and Jenn Fessler.
Fashion designer Nicole Miller was in attendance to support her friend, John James, who was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2013. “I was showing symptoms in 2009, I had depression, thought I was just getting old,” said James.
“John James is the reason I’m here tonight, he had a similar story to Atty Cleworth, onstage, you never quite believe that it’s that bad,” said Miller.
“Hearing the stories—I just don’t understand why they don’t routinely test people for this,” she adds. “I can’t believe it takes so long to diagnose it—especially if someone is sick for years.”
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