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The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Grants $6.5 Million to
Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Gift is part of the largest private donation for Lyme disease research—100% of grant will go directly to Lyme disease research programs.

SILICON VALLEY, California, December 17, 2015 –The Bay Area Lyme Foundation today announced that it received a $6.5 million grant from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, the largest private donation ever given to Lyme disease research. The gift will support Bay Area Lyme’s mission of using new scientific research and innovations to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure.

“I was shocked to learn how many people suffer from Lyme disease in silence, and how much we still need to do to raise awareness and help find a cure,” said Alex Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “This gift is incredibly personal to me as I have experienced, first-hand, the chronic and debilitating side effects of this relatively unknown disease. We share Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s desire to find a cure for Lyme disease and hope that this gift will help pave the way to that important work.”

“This is a truly meaningful donation as it will help us continue our efforts to encourage collaboration among researchers, and significantly increase the amount of research currently being conducted,” says Linda Giampa, executive director of Bay Area Lyme Foundation. “A great amount of research is needed to understand the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. This philanthropic grant will help us continue to fund innovative Lyme disease projects and, more importantly, attract new research talent into the field of Lyme.”

One hundred percent of the funds donated by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation will go toward research efforts as all administrative expenses of Bay Area Lyme Foundation are covered through 2019 by a considerable donation from The Laurel Foundation.


About the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is committed to inspiring philanthropy and community service – with special interest in children’s health, education, veterans, and the arts – by creating awareness, offering guidance, and leading by example to show the world what giving can do. The Cohen Foundation’s Lyme Initiative is investing to cure Lyme, which infects over 300,000 Americans each year and leaves 10-20% with persistent, life-altering symptoms.  Through funding leading researchers and innovators, the Foundation will improve our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat all stages of Lyme disease.

About Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a national nonprofit organization committed to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, is a leading private sponsor of innovative Lyme disease research in the US.  A national 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley, the Foundation collaborates with world-class scientists and institutions to accelerate medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease. It is also dedicated to providing reliable, fact-based information so that prevention and the importance of early treatment are common knowledge.   For more information about Lyme disease or to get involved, visit or call us at 650-530-2439.

About Lyme Disease

One of the most common infectious diseases in the country, Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests. There are about 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2015 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, as many as one million Americans may be suffering from the impact of its debilitating long-term symptoms and complications, according to Bay Area Lyme Foundation estimates.

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10 Comments on “The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Grants $6.5 Million to Bay Area Lyme Foundation

  1. I recently lost my 7 year old laphso to Lyme disease. I was never educated on Lyme nor I never had my dog tested I’m so heartbroken.

  2. I live in a mountain/valley area in N VA. In 2003, I was bit 3 times by deer ticks, which are a nightmare in this state. First test was positive with a medium-sized, perfect red bullseye the next day. I did 14 days of doxycycline. That was it.

    Six weeks later, I had another blood test, it came back negative. Next blood test, after another six weeks was a response of “Well, we arent sure.”

    Two years ago [having no other imminent health issues] I dropped down from a sudden brain aneurism. Nine days in ICU, a brainectomy w clip installed on front vessel, high blood pressure issues, swollen knees, early arthritis, fatigue. I seem to be living with whatever it is I have. Age 57. Never had the IV treatment.

    We, the usa citizens that go outside, work outside, garden, etc., need for the USA to develop a speedy Lyme test. There are way too many of us not knowing the correct diagnosis. I hope the large gift can help find a better way to test for Lyme. Thank you for that gift to be used for Lyme. Gods blessings to you both.

  3. THANK YOU. My husband has suffered with misdiagnosed Lyme for over 25 years. The frustrating part is after spinal surgery, I kept telling doctors I thought he had lyme. However, he tested negative. So grateful for your generous donation. Was surprised not to see more familiar Lyme researchers, but grateful just the same.

  4. This is great news! As a Lyme sufferer from the north east coast, I know first-hand living in NY, in a endemic area for Lyme and I was still met with a huge resistance from medical professions to diagnose and recognize Lyme disease… God bless his heart and I hope it brings big change for the many who are suffering in silence.

  5. Thank you so much, this disease is spreading horribly fast. I am so sorry to hear about Alexandra, I hope she was able treat it before the disease gets to the chronic stage. I’ve seen horrible things happen to families with Lyme disease. The worst thing is watching young children not being able to get the proper treatment and help, and knowing if they could only treat it right now they might have a chance for [the disease] not to become chronic. I, too, had this disease as a child. I didn’t get treated till later in life. I fear for the young ones. I was one of the case studies that helped pass the Minnesota State Lyme Bill last year, I know much more has to be done. Insurance companies are not helping very much and people are losing their homes trying to pay for treatments. Your donation is breathtaking. Again, I want to thank you. Sincerely Bill Edward Duoos

  6. I just wanted to thank you personally for your generous gift towards finding answers and maybe a cure for Lyme. I’m just a mom of six and grandmother of three, not anyone of consequence or importance. I used to work retail, then the rug was pulled out from under me. I had dug more than one tick out of me, and although I had tried to avoid doctors as much as possible, I went and was tested several times over a four year period, always coming up negative. Then, when I was hospitalized for my appendix rupturing, they did a western blot, and it came back positive! Then had a spinal and a MRI. They now believe I have had Lyme for possibly as long as four years?!? I’ve done oral antibiotics, then IV antibiotics,and I’m still not well/cured. Doubt I ever will be. Perhaps, thanks to your generosity others won’t know my living nightmare. Again, thank you.

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