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Jeanne Cloutier lost her battle with late stage Lyme disease in February, 2013. She left behind journals that told of her despair and isolation at the hands of this disease. No one should suffer alone with this illness. Our foundation was created in her memory.
"In the fullness of time, the mainstream handling of chronic Lyme disease will be viewed as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of medicine, because elements of academic medicine, elements of government and virtually the entire insurance industry have colluded to deny a disease."
-Dr. Kenneth Liegner
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease (Lyme borrealiosis) is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Borrelia burgdorferi is the main cause of Lyme disease in North America, whereas Borrelia afzelli and Borrelia garinii cause most European cases. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, U.S. where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Although it was known that Lyme disease was a tick-borne disease as far back as 1978, the cause of the disease remained a mystery until 1981, when B. burgdoferi was identified by Willy Burgdorfer. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Borrelia is trasmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks belonging to a few species of genus Ixodes ("hard ticks"). Early symptoms may include fever, headache and fatigue. A rash occurs in 70-80% of infected persons at the site of the tick bite after a delay of 3-30 days (average is about 7 days), and may or may not appear as the well-publicized bull's-eye (erythema migrans). The rash is only rarely painful or itchy, although it may be warm to the touch. Approximately 65-80% of infected persons do not experience a rash. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early. Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to more serious symptoms, which can be disbling and difficult to treat. The term "chronic Lyme disease" is controversial and not recognized in the medical literature, and most medical authorities advise against long-term antibiotic treatment for "chronic Lyme disease."
What Do We Do?
The Central Mass Lyme Foundation is an all-volunteer organization working to raise awareness, educate, teach prevention and provide support. We have monthly meetings with guest speakers on not only how to prevent Lyme disease, but also how to cope with the disease mentally, spiritually and physically.
How Can You Help?
By supporting our various fund-raising efforts, or by making private donations, you make it possible for us to work with Lyme-literate physicians and assist individuals suspected of having Lyme disease obtain proper testing. These funds also make it possible for us to do things such as obtain printed materials for public distribution, purchase and donate Lyme disease related books for our public libraries, purchase and install signs for our local parks and trails, and invite special guest speakers to our monthly meetings. You can also contact us directly to discuss opportunities to volunteer at
Find us at:
210 Park Ave., Suite 143, Worcester, MA 01609
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© 2014-2015, Central Mass Lyme Foundation, Inc. - a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation - All Rights Reserved