Since its inception in 2011, LymeLight Foundation (LLF) has funded 1,252 grants totaling $8.7 million. They have given grants to patients in every state except North Dakota. Not only is this impressively generous, but it also further showcases that Lyme disease is everywhere.
With over 476,000 new cases every year, the need for treatment grants will only continue to grow. LLF already receives hundreds of applications every year to grant funds to children and young adults through age 25. You can be awarded up to $10,000 per individual and $30,000 per family. But with all of their success funding grants, more is needed to help everyone.
Currently, only 60% of eligible applicants will receive a grant due to funding constraints. Although they are fortunate to have generous donors covering 100% of operating costs, there remains an ongoing need for additional funds to expand the treatment grant program.
Tyla is 27 and living a normal life in Massachusetts, but this was not always the case.
At the start of 2014, she was in college, playing for her school’s volleyball team, and on the honor roll, before her life took a turn.
Suffering from debilitating fatigue and neurological issues, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She became bedridden, unable to attend school for several years, and her medical bills began stacking up. Eventually, she turned to Google to find help paying for treatment. LymeLight Foundation appeared on her screen.
Tyla took her shot and applied at the end of 2016, receiving her first LymeLight grant award in February 2017 and her final award in March 2018, totaling $10,000 for treatment.
With my application, the LymeLight Foundation saw a part of me, but once I received a grant, they got to know all of me.
After receiving her grant and treatment, Tyla’s life began to turn around. She graduated from Wesleyan with honors, received awards for her talent in languages, and was offered her dream job teaching high school psychology.
Tyla is so grateful for all LymeLight has done for her. She is proud to be featured on their Stories of Hope page and recently shared her story at LymeLight’s Dart for Art fundraising event. Tyla wants other young people to find the same help she did. She shared that she chose not to engage in grant recipient gatherings and community-building events because she believed she was aging out of them. However, she acknowledged their significance for younger individuals facing the challenges of this debilitating disease.
LymeLight Foundation was always really open with their communication, Tyla says, and really got to know her as a person past just giving her a grant.
Matthew is a 32-year-old youth pastor and avid longboarder from California. He also works in film production, which is his dream job, and he just got married last year. While things are going well now, Matthew’s story was not always this happy.
Just over 10 years ago Matthew was diagnosed with Lyme disease. At the time he was working 50 to 60 hours a week and was very active. Following his diagnosis, he had to significantly cut his hours to focus on treatment, before quitting all work entirely and being forced to move back in with his parents, one who was also suffering from Lyme disease. At this point, he decided it was time to seek financial assistance.
I felt like my life was spiraling down at a slow rate but at a deep depth.
Matthew’s application to LymeLight Foundation was eventually approved. He says it gave peace back to his mom and more freedom to utilize treatment methods that were originally financially prohibitive.
He claims he is doing much better now and that the grant, along with some insurance miracles, allowed him to save up money and reestablish his career. His new flow of funds has allowed him to continue active treatment without the need for grants.
Matthew has been very involved in LLF’s community-building activities. He has attended several summer grant recipient receptions and Dart for Art fundraisers. He has met other patients and his mom has utilized the events to meet other caregivers. While he is older now, Matt has continued to be a great example to the younger kids, helping them through the early stages of treatment.
How Can You Help
The more people who know about the LymeLight Foundation the better. Not only will it connect more suffering patients to much-needed funds, but ideally it will connect interested donors to help expand the program. Make sure to share this story with anyone who may benefit or be interested in learning more!
LymeLight Foundation hopes to continue to expand its program, funding a higher percentage of applications that fit the criteria, and eventually expanding the program to fund adults over age 25. This can only be accomplished with more funds. Project Lyme encourages you to donate to support LLF’s important work below!