Shine A Light On Lyme: Chicago Cocktail Fundraiser

Project Lyme has made Chicago a main city to raise awareness and educate the public about Lyme disease. For the second year, we are excited to partner with Illinois Lyme Association celebrating Lyme Disease Awareness Month by hosting an intimate benefit that honor patients and support our work.


About The Event

Hosted by Project Lyme board members, Ali Moresco and Olivia Abrams, and featuring keynote speaker Dr. Casey Kelley of Case Integrative Health (along with other special guests), this event will serve as an opportunity to shine a light on this devastating disease and meet influential people impacted by it. We will hear from these top doctors and researchers on the state of tick-borne illness in the Midwest and the groundbreaking research Project Lyme is funding to help patients heal.

Delectable passed appetizers will be served, curated by the head chef behind The Lunchroom at Space 519. Sip on red or white wine along with champagne. To commemorate the special evening, famed illustrator Julija Lubgane will be in attendance to paint guests, live! Julija’s client list includes Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin, to name a few. Illustrations are first come, first serve.

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Ali Moresco is the founder of Moresco Public Relations + Communications. Once focusing on entertainment PR and talent relations, Moresco made a pivot to healthcare PR four years ago when her world was turned upside down by an undiagnosed illness. It took her two years and eight specialists to find a doctor that would eventually crack the case- multiple complex chronic diseases and tick-borne diseases. Fortunately, Moresco pulls her experience living with chronic disease and “professional patient” skills to provide clients with experience-backed communications strategies in building loyal, long-lasting relationships with both media and patient communities.

Olivia Abrams is the CEO and Co-Founder of TiCK MiTT, a non-toxic tick removal product for people and pets. Diagnosed with Lyme disease at 8 years old, Olivia is still discovering how the complexities of the disease relate to her own health. The experience has led her on a mission to reduce cases of tick-borne illnesses by teaching individuals the importance of safe tick protection.

Keynotes Speakers

Dr. Casey Kelley, MD ABOIM is the Founder of Case Integrative Health, Dr. Kelley is relentless about getting to the root cause of chronic disease and transforming health through Functional Medicine. Board Certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Kelley was among the first physicians to become Board Certified in Integrative Medicine. She has studied the causes, effects, and treatments of Lyme Disease extensively, and lectures nationally on this and other topics. Dr. Kelley is a Treasurer of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).

Dr. Dominic Patawaran, MD is a board-certified Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine physician affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He received his medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University accelerated BS/MD program and completed the University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Fellowship, an innovative program developed by wellness pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil. He is also trained in Functional Medicine, Bioidentical Hormones and specialized care for Lyme and Mold Management. For more than 20 years, his approach to healing has centered on creating an authentic, human connection with patients to serve their unique healthcare needs. His journey from conventional to integrative medicine built upon that foundation, enabling him to provide best-in-class care that is personalized, compassionate, and mindful of each individual’s unique circumstances, lifestyles and wellness goals.

Jennifer Russell is the Founder, CEO, and Executive Director of the Illinois Lyme Association (ILA). In 2012, her life took a profound turn when her 7-year-old daughter Lauryn became seriously ill with a mysterious set of symptoms. After numerous doctors and several misdiagnoses, Jennifer learned her daughter had late-stage Lyme disease.

Fueled by her family’s journey to get an accurate diagnosis for Lauryn and the knowledge that many people face the same obstacles, Jenniferformed ILA with a mission to provide support, awareness, and education to individuals and families affected by Lyme disease throughout Illinois. Jennifer’s dedication and tireless efforts have resulted in a medical provider protection act, the creation of a Lyme disease task force, state-regulated insurance coverage for tick-borne diseases, a partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and more.

About Illinois Lyme Association

The mission of the Illinois Lyme Association (ILA) is to raise awareness about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. ILA will provide the public with information and education on protection, prevention, and the risk of tick bites. The association will work with individuals and families on education and support for the treatment of Lyme disease. The organization will work with health professionals and researchers to accomplish their goals.

ILA has successfully helped critical legislation get passed benefitting the patient community. In 2018, in the 100th General Assembly, the Lauryn Russell Lyme Disease Prevention and Protection Law was passed to protect medical providers who treat people with tick-borne diseases. The law also established a task force to assist the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in fostering public awareness and creating provider education programs. ILA is well represented on the task force, as our Executive Director, Jennifer Russell, is a member.

On August 12, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law a mandate for state-regulated insurance and Medicaid plans to cover longer-term antibiotic therapy for tick-borne illnesses from the 101st General Assembly. ILA was instrumental in this monumental stride forward to improve the health of residents in Illinois.

In 2023, the Illinois Lyme Association assisted state legislators by providing education on tick-borne disease needs for Illinois. As a result, five bills were signed by Governor Pritzker into law.