In honor of Lyme Awareness Month, we celebrate the work of the Lymelight Foundation, Burlingame, California.

“Thank you so much for the journal.  I love it!  It has helped me to find the hidden blessings through this challenging disease and hold on to my dreams of a better future.”

— Ashley G., California LymeLight grant recipient, age 24

With the complexity of diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment for Lyme disease, managing the disease casts an incredible burden, both financially and emotionally, on affected families.  Lymelight Foundation raises money to award grants to families of eligible young people through age twenty-five, and is also dedicated to increasing awareness about Lyme disease in children and young adults.  It is the goal of the foundation that through these grants, children and young adults can receive proper treatment and medications in their fight against Lyme disease.

LymeLight Foundation was started by families in California who came face to face with the drastic physical and financial consequences of Lyme disease. Through their childrens’ struggles, they discovered the enormous expense of battling Lyme and the inability of many families to afford the necessary care.

Executive Director Nancy Rollett, affected by Lyme herself, explains that most treatment plans for chronic Lyme are not covered by insurance, leaving families on their own to deal with the extraordinary financial burden.  Lymelight Foundation bridges the gap, offering financial aid, education, and awareness.   This differs from other Lyme organizations that focus primarily on research or public policy.  Since its inception in 2011, LymeLight has provided over $1,000,000 in grants and touched more than 300 families nationwide.

When Rollett saw Digging Deep for the first time, she knew it would be a wonderful resource to offer every child receiving a grant through LymeLight. Digging Deep coauthor Sheri Brisson sponsored the first set of books and then Rollett was eager to help support the efforts of Brisson and her nonprofit Resonance House, a fully owned subsidiary of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Digging Deep has become a valuable interactive tool to help our grant recipients and their families express the challenges of chronic illness.  We hear from countless children and young adults and their caregivers that it has enabled them to discover their inner strength and wisdom, and process their emotions in a way that builds confidence and clarity,” says Rollett.  “We are grateful for our partnership with Resonance House and the many ways it enables us in our mission to support families facing Lyme disease,” she adds.

Rollett reached out to her community of supporters at LymeLight as part of their holiday campaign.  Donors were given the opportunity to sponsor books for their 2015 grant recipients.  LymeLight raised funds for nearly 100 books!  100% of LymeLight’s donated funds will be used to directly support Resonance House’s book gifting program.

This year LymeLight intends to offer Digging Deep to all its grant recipients and is hoping to expand the program so that every applicant can receive a journal. Resonance House and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation greatly appreciate LymeLight Foundation for their incredible work for children and families.  We congratulate them for being an exemplary partner!

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Sheri Brisson
Sheri Sobrato Brisson is a brain tumor survivor who discovered the importance of self-reflection during her recovery. From her personal illness experience and a dozen years supporting families and children with serious illness, her life’s philanthropic mission is to empower families and children facing serious illness. She has started and facilitated support groups for children with illness and their families for over twenty years with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Brain Tumor Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and Packard Children’s Hospital. She has served as Board Member for many children’s health nonprofit organizations including American Cancer Society San Jose, UCSF/Mt. Zion Auxiliary, Creighton Health Institute, and Okizu Foundation. Brisson received her master’s degree in counseling from Santa Clara University and her undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University.
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