Frequently Asked Questions
Describe the primary purpose of the Foundation.
One primary focus is the establishment and operation of a research facility to study Lyme Disease and eventually other vector-borne diseases. The research will lead to better testing and treatment for Lyme Disease patients. We have partnered with the Humber River Hospital (HRH) in Toronto to house this facility in their new state-of-the-art acute care hospital.
What is happening while you wait to open the facility?
We continue to have ongoing meetings with the hospital to discuss funding requirements, involvement of the HRH medical community and the development of a research program. Proper development of a research program requires extensive and ongoing consultation with the experts involved and this consultation is well under way to initialize the program.
What is the purpose of the research program?
Lyme Disease has been recognized for almost 40 years but there has been relatively little research in humans. Most research dollars have been directed at finding a drug that may some day in the distant future help with prevention or at tracking the ticks that transmit the disease.
Our new research facility will collect and analyze tissue samples from patients to determine the incidence of Lyme Disease and other infectious organisms among the sample population. The research will lead to additional and improved diagnostic tools that will allow for more appropriate treatment intervention as soon as possible. We are presently working with recognized researchers including Dr. Felix Sperling, a Professor at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Stephen Barthold, a former Professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at University of California Davis, to draft an appropriate research protocol for approval by HRH.
How is this Foundation different from the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation?
Donations made to the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseases go directly to funding our current research program to be housed at Humber River Hospital in Toronto which includes critical new research that we need to do to collect and analyze tissue samples taken from patients diagnosed with conditions or disorders that share symptomatology with Lyme Disease. The research will lead to better testing and treatment for Lyme Disease patients.
Meanwhile, donations made to the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation go to support spreading awareness Canada-wide of Lyme Disease and other tick borne infections to the public, media and medical community, giving a voice to Lyme victims and supporting research initiatives like that of the G. Magnotta Foundation and other research initiatives. We now have two major, national organizations working hand-in-hand toward giving Canadian Lyme Disease patients what they have long deserved – excellent diagnostics and treatment supported by the latest science, technology and expertise.
Does the Foundation have other purposes?
Yes. An equally important purpose is to educate medical professionals and the public through online materials, workshops, seminars and conferences about Lyme Disease. These forums will include the dissemination of knowledge gained from evidence-based, peer-reviewed research developments. The frequency of these workshops and seminars will be dictated by the relative progress of new research developments.
Funds will also be raised to provide research grants for Canadian physicians and researchers to increase their base knowledge of Lyme Disease and develop earlier detection and treatment methodologies through an annual call for research proposals. In addition to research grants, funds will also be raised to sponsor Canadian physicians and researchers to attend and present at various educational conferences.
You state on your web site that the tick population in Canada will significantly increase by 2020. Where did this data come from?
A recent study by the Public Health Agency of Canada and published in the Journal of Applied Technology indicated the speed of tick invasion in eastern Canada is predicted to increase from 18% in 2010 to over 80% by 2020. We strongly believe this will likely result in a substantial increase in Lyme Disease among Canadians. The two major factors dramatically influencing this rate of speed are more migratory birds carrying ticks coming across Canadian borders and climate warming.