What Does “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Star Yolanda Foster Have in Common With Two Award-Winning Lyme Disease Researchers?

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Foster, along with Mark Eshoo, Ph.D and Steven Schutzer, M.D., will be honored at Lyme Research Alliance’s “Time for Lyme” Gala on April 6, 2013. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund important research projects at universities and major medical institutions throughout the U.S.

Yolanda Foster will accept her award at LRA's "Time for Lyme" Gala

I am on a mission to speak out for those who are suffering from Lyme disease.

Speaking about the importance of medical research might be the last thing you’d expect from Yolanda Foster, castmate on season three of Bravo TV’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” And yet, the stunning Dutch former model and wife of Grammy Award-winning music producer David Foster, will be doing just that when she accepts the Lyme Research Alliance’s Star Light Award at its April 6 fundraising Gala in Greenwich, CT.

“I am looking forward to accepting this award because I am on a mission to speak out for those who are suffering from Lyme disease,” said Foster, who has had chronic neurological Lyme for two years and recently finished a grueling 90-days of antibiotic treatments. “It’s essential that a reliable diagnostic test for Lyme be developed and that research efforts be supported to find a cure for this silent killer. There are so many different protocols and so much controversy on how to cure Lyme disease, it’s insane.”

The importance of furthering research to ultimately find a cure for Lyme and other debilitating tick-borne diseases will be emphasized at the Gala as LRA also honors Steven Schutzer, M.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Mark Eshoo, Ph.D, director, New Technology Department, Abbott Laboratories. Each will receive the Lauren F. Brooks Hope Award, honoring those who are making strides in research and treatment in the pursuit of a Lyme disease cure.

Dr. Schutzer’s ongoing work in the identification of distinct protein biomarkers provides hope for further understanding the persistent symptoms of Lyme and, ultimately, for effective diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Dr. Eshoo is working to improve the sensitivity of diagnostic tests for Lyme disease and continues to make progress in the detection of Lyme disease during the initial stages of infection, when diagnosis and treatment are most effective. Together, utilizing state-of-the-art technology to identify Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in a speck of body fluid, Drs. Eshoo and Schutzer have already revolutionized the field of diagnostics.  

“We are thankful that Steve Schutzer and Mark Eshoo have dedicated their efforts to this important foundational work in the tick-borne disease arena,” said Harriet Kotsoris, M.D., LRA’s chief scientific officer. “We believe that by naming these esteemed scientists as our honorees we are giving important recognition to science that creates a foundation on which other researchers in the field can build, with the ultimate goal of developing a reliable diagnostic tool and an effective treatment for post-treatment Lyme disease patients.”     

In addition to the awards presentations, the black-tie optional event will include a live and silent auction. Gala attendees will be able to bid on items and experiences such as a week at designer Tommy Hilfiger’s home in Mustique; two tickets to the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, plus entrance to the exclusive after-party; a painting by Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood, and two VIP tickets to the Dr. Oz show. There will also be a raffle to win a two-year lease on a new 2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 Coupe.

The Gala will be chaired by Ally Hilfiger, who received the organization’s first-ever Star Light Award in 2011, Mark Hopwood and Brett Kristoff. Emcee for the evening is Ira Joe Fisher, meteorologist and author. Honorary event chairs include Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Olympic gold medalist Donna deVarona, designer Tommy Hilfiger, fashion model Georgia May Jagger, actress Joanna Kerns, baseball’s Bobby Valentine, Rolling Stones’ rocker Ronnie Wood and his wife, Sally.

LRA’s “Time for Lyme” Gala is its largest fundraiser of the year and proceeds fund important medical research projects. LRA is the leading private funding organization for cutting-edge research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases by universities and major medical institutions around the U.S. In 2007, LRA partnered with Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and the Lyme Disease Association to endow the nation’s first Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Research Center at Columbia.

The Gala will be held Saturday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich, CT. It features dinner, dancing and a live and silent auction.

Tickets may be purchased online by visiting http://www.lymeresearchalliance.org and clicking on the homepage box, or by calling 203-969-1333.
Lyme Research Alliance, formerly Time for Lyme, is a Connecticut-based, national non-profit that funds cutting-edge research into Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. For more information go to http://www.lymeresearchalliance.org.

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Peter Wild

Rona Cherry
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