Bite Back for a Cure, Tick-Borne Disease Alliance's National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Tick-Borne Diseases, Stops in Central NY, Saturday, September 14

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Campaign to raise awareness and encourage local advocacy includes cross-country bike tour and interactive digital components.

Bite Back for a Cure, the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance’s (TBDA) national grassroots campaign to build support for the fight against the devastating impact of tick-borne diseases, will make a stop on its national tour of bike rides and community events in Central N.Y. on Saturday, September 14. Led by 24-year-old Lyme sufferer and cyclist John Donnally, Bite Back for a Cure will raise awareness and galvanize local support for TBDA’s mission to fund research and educate the public about the silent epidemic of tick-borne diseases.

The event will offer two courses – a family fun ride and an advanced ride – both starting and finishing at the Crossroads Community Church in Chittenango, N.Y. The family fun ride is an 11-mile route designed for participants of all ages. The advanced ride includes a 30-mile course geared toward experienced riders and will be led by John Donnally. At 12 p.m. Steven Bock, MD, a Lyme-literate physician experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases will be available for an open question and answer forum. Family-friendly activities will be held on the church grounds throughout the day, including chair massages and face painting. There will also be a special viewing of the documentary Under Our Skin.

Advance registration is $25 per person and $70 per family. Registration will cost $5 more on the day of the ride. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. The advanced ride starts at 9:15 a.m. The family fun ride will begin at 9:30 a.m. Helmets are required for all participants.

“TBDA is thrilled to launch Bite Back For A Cure, which will help us build momentum on a national scale and reach local communities throughout the country to fight what has become a truly national health epidemic,” said Staci Grodin, TBDA president.

“We’re honored that TBDA has brought Bite Back for a Cure to Central New York. Tick-borne diseases are increasingly prevalent in this region, and it is vitally important that visitors and residents alike understand the risks posed by these devastating illnesses and the very easy ways we can all protect ourselves,” Daniel Walsh, employee of Lockheed Martin.

A former Colgate lacrosse player, Donnally was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2003 and again in 2011. His personal passion is fueled by the fact that others in his family also suffer with Lyme disease. During Bite Back for a Cure: Central NY, Donnally will meet with others affected by tick-borne diseases. These inspirational interviews will be documented on

“By 2020, it’s expected that there will be over 600,000 new cases of Lyme disease every year, and one in five of these patients will likely suffer with long-term symptoms – just like me and my family,” said Donnally. “Through my trip across America, I want to raise awareness and build support to defeat these debilitating diseases. Together we will make a difference.”

In addition to the cross-country bike tour, Bike Back for a Cure also includes an interactive online campaign led by Candice Accola, star of the hit television series The Vampire Diaries. Over time, the online campaign will accumulate a national “video quilt” of individual photos and statements from those affected by tick-borne diseases. This “video quilt” will be sent to state and federal legislators, encouraging them to support Lyme-disease legislation. To view Accola’s PSA that she filmed for TBDA earlier this year, go to

“The online campaign is another crucial element of Bite Back for a Cure, and I encourage everyone in Central N.Y. to bring signs and take photos so we can put an end to this national health crisis,” Donnally explained.

To register for Bite Back for a Cure: Central NY, visit

To learn more about Bite Back for a Cure and how you can get involved, visit

For more information about the health crisis posed by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, visit


Media Contacts:
Phil & Company
Brittnie Mabry, brittnie(at)philandcompany(dot)com, 646.490.6446
Morgan Procida, morgan(at)philandcompany(dot)com, 646.490.6446

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