Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography
Huey Lewis and the News brought the power of love to the fight for a cure for Lyme disease when the philanthropic rockers donated their performance at the third annual LymeAid gala. The Bay Area Lyme Foundation, the leading national nonprofit funder of innovative Lyme disease research, hosted more than 400 celebrities, philanthropists and noteworthy scientists at the event held May 17 at a private residence in Portola Valley. The benefit dinner and concert raised approximately $600,000, of which 100% will go directly to fund research for Lyme disease.
More than 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with this potentially debilitating disease each year. Huey Lewis and the News founding member Johnny Colla’s daughter Allison suffers from Lyme disease.
“It’s a challenging disease, and my hope is that the funds raised today at LymeAid will help find better diagnostics and a cure so that others do not need to endure what Allison has,” Lewis said.
In addition to the band, numerous celebrities, many touched by Lyme disease, supported the event including: Yolanda Foster, a member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and a high profile sufferer of Lyme disease, who along with her husband, music producer David Foster, were honorary chairs of the event but did not attend due the severity of her symptoms of Lyme disease; Elet Hall, the 2014 American Ninja Warrior and a Lyme disease sufferer; philanthropist/actress Jane Seymour who departed the Cannes Film Festival early to attend; musician and Lyme disease survivor Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, who chaired the event but was unable to attend; and Kathleen McClellan Sain, who hosted TLC’s For Better or For Worse.
Sherry Cagan, Eileen Morgenthaler and Laure Woods were the honorary chairs of LymeAid, which took place at the estate of Sherry, a Lyme disease sufferer, and Laird Cagan.
“As the problem of Lyme disease continues to grow, we are grateful for the support of such a broad range of scientists, physicians, patients, and celebrities,” said Linda Giampa, executive director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation. “We are seeing great opportunities to fund incredible research that we are hopeful will help us identify an accurate diagnostic and cure.”
More than 30 researchers from a dozen institutions from across the country also came to show their support for the cause and to share their scientific insights with attendees.
“Meeting the scientists working with Bay Area Lyme Foundation to solve the challenges of Lyme disease, and seeing their enthusiasm for their research, gives me great hope for the future,” said Daisy White, Health Advocate for Yolanda Foster, who attended LymeAid in place of Yolanda to learn more about the disease to help Yolanda overcome it.
Paige Larkin, Yolanda’s best friend, who also has Lyme disease, added: “We need to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure – and I hope we can do that quickly.”
Giampa and Bonnie Crater, co-founder of Bay Area Lyme Foundation presented the Emerging Leader Award and a $100,000 grant to two research collaborators, Dr. John A. Branda and Dr. Nira Pollock, who are exploring a potential biomarker for Lyme disease, which may lead to the development of a novel urine test for early Lyme disease.
The 2015 event sponsors included: LymeLight Foundation, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation, TransPak, Whittier Trust, Trattore Farms, Rosewood Sand Hill, TellMed Strategies, Giant Microbes and Lencioni Construction Company, Inc.
Elisabeth Thieriot, Jane Seymour
Christina de Limur, Bert Inch, Jane Inch
Bonnie Crater, Dr. John Brander, Linda Giampa
Laure Woods, Richard Horowitz
Joan and Jack Simon
Dr. Frank Longo and Dr. Mark Eshoo,
Elisabeth Thieriot, Christina de Limur
Elet Hall, Lauren Leclercq, and Wyatt Giampa
Dr. Frank Longo, Anne Longo, Sherry & Laird Cagan, Amir Rubin and Nicole Rubin
Sherry Cagan, Richard Horowitz
Jane Inch, Arlene Inch, Gary Morganthaler, Sherry Cagan, Bert Inch
Bert Inch, Arlene Inch, Don Morris, Kathy Morris
Huey Lewis and the News performance
Elet Hall, Wyatt, Nick and Sawyer Giampa
Cynthia Woods, Tim Quilter
Laure Woods, Jane Seymour, Linda Giampa
Scott Athearn, Dr. Richard Horowitz, Camille Athearn
Sean Morgenthaler, Johnny Keach, Jane Seymour, Nick Giampa, Wyatt Giampa, Sawyer Giampa
David Rottman, Daisy White, Paige Larkin
Jane Seymour, Elaine Mellis
Lisa Keany, Lloyd Minor, Kerima Greene
Dr. John Aucott, Dr. William Robinson, Sue Aucott
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography