For Immediate Release February 10, 2009
Canadian Family Stricken with Lyme Disease? Give Half a Million Dollars to Charity
West Kelowna, BC ? An Ontario family recently donated $500,000 to the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme.com) towards funding an independent research facility in Canada after two members of the family fell seriously ill with Lyme disease.
The family members, who wish to remain anonymous, became ill and were left with no answers after extensive Canadian testing. The pair subsequently went to the United States where with more aggressive investigation doctors promptly diagnosed them with Lyme disease and began treatment. They continue to improve.
CanLyme president Jim Wilson said, "This family struggled within the Canadian health care system, as are thousands of Canadians, and were let down by poor testing and a false confidence within the medical community that Lyme disease is rare in Canada. The medical leadership in Canada, including the federal and provincial governments are letting us down. Doctors and patients are not told of the serious limitations of the tests used - limitations acknowledged by the global science community."
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection carried by ticks. Ticks are brought into Canada in the hundreds of millions each season on migratory birds and are spread randomly across Canada following migratory bird flyways. You do not need to live in or have visited a known endemic area to become infected as some government agencies and medical organizations suggest.
Inadequate testing, inconsistent reporting criteria, limited surveillance and poor clinical diagnostic knowledge have resulted in less than 50 cases of Lyme disease being reported yearly in Canada. On the other hand, the United States reports over 25,000 cases of Lyme disease annually ? mainly in states adjacent to the Canadian border. Due to under-reporting the US Center for Disease Control estimates that annual cases in the US could actually be 200,000. The European Union confirms in excess of 85,000 cases annually.
Lyme disease, the fastest growing infectious disease in the northern hemisphere, is known as the "Great Imitator." It is a multi-system, multi-organ infection and can cause numerous symptoms including extreme fatigue, arthritis, heart abnormalities, bowel and digestive problems, abnormal skin sensations, muscle weakness or jerking, eyesight or hearing abnormalities, cognitive and memory difficulties, dementia, and in some cases paralysis.
Lyme disease is commonly misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Parkinson's disease, irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. CanLyme says research, including post-mortem study, is required utilizing all of today's technology to determine how frequently these other diagnoses are in fact caused by Lyme disease. We know a percentage are in fact Lyme disease, what we don't know is what that percentage is.
For more information please contact:
Jim Wilson, President, Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, www.canlyme.com
250-768-0978 or 250-808-9978