By 2020, the United States populace will see 600,000 new cases of Lyme disease, according to The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance. In effort to put a halt to the rising number of tick-borne diseases (including Lyme,) the alliance is hosting a northeast campaign that is set to make a stop on Sunday, August 25 in the Hamptons at the Rotations Bicycle Center. The eight-mile bike ride through Southampton is just one part of a national cycling campaign from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.
"This is a national grassroots campaign that we expect to build support in a Forrest Gump
type of manner," said Jodi Nass, a spokeswoman for The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance.
John Donnally, a Lyme disease survivor, will be cycling around the northeast and cross-country to speak to those suffering with tick-borne illnesses and politicians. The alliance plans to highlights children afflicted with tick-borne diseases, in particular how they are unable to go to school and exercise and how it affects their families.
The alliance previously participated in a forum with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand
(D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal
(D-C.T.) in New York. They have also received support from Mayor Mark Epley
of Southampton Village.
Forty percent of the proceeds from the August 25th event will go to Southampton Hospital
's Lyme Center. Most medical insurance providers do not cover Lyme disease, according to Nass. Many have max-ed out their credit cards and had to sell property to pay for treatment.
"I walk down the street in Southampton and the conversation is 'Oh, I've had it five or six times,'" Nass said.
Registration is $30 per rider and $60 per family. Check-in starts in 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9:30 a.m. Riders of all ages are welcome.
For more information about The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance, visit them online at www.bitebackforacure.org.