Hundreds attend blood clinic for new Lyme disease test

DELMAR, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s a brand new test for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses we told you about last year.

On Thursday, the first clinical study was held right in the Capital Region. Dozens were turned away and will have to attend future scheduled blood draw clinics because so many signed up to give blood.

More than 100 people got their blood drawn at the clinic. Some of them have never been tested for Lyme but maybe have symptoms, or some of them have been battling the disease for years.

Lyme disease is a complicated disease and many people experience an array of symptoms like Randy Fox, of Niskayuna, who’s been battling it for years.

“Besides the chronic fatigue, I have neuropathies which are either tingling, sharp pains, dull pains, numbness.”

Fox gave blood at the Stram Center in Delmar with 150 other people from the Capital Region area. It’s all part of a clinical study for a new test called LymeSeq. It’s expected to diagnose 20 different strains of Lyme disease and other co-infections that ticks can carry and giving hope to those suffering.

“To be able to diagnose and treat people earlier so that we don’t have long lasting effects.”

“I have been bitten by ticks so I thought it would be a good idea,” Adrie Fredenburg, of Canajoharie, said.

Fredenburg brought along her husband Steve too.

“As long as it’s going to help, the study is worth it,” Steve Fredenburg, of Canajoharie, said.

George Hagerty, of Lake George, signed up because he’s had multiple tick bites and has tested positive for Lyme disease.

“One of the ticks I pulled off my body was tested positive for BMD and if I pronounce it right it’s Borrelia miyamotoi,” Hagerty said.

It’s another tick-borne illness that has caused Hagerty a lot of pain and limited ability to function.

“I’ll do anything I can to help people not get this wretched disease.”

Vial after vial was collected because of one mother from Phoenix, Arizona who was angry when her daughter was diagnosed with Lyme at age 19 but was never treated.

“Even though she was CDC positive her doctors would not treat her so we decided that we needed a better diagnostic test,” Tammy Crawford, Founder of Focus on Lyme Foundation, said.

Crawford says she has great confidence in Dr. Paul Keim who developed the test. She explains why the Capital Region area was chosen for the clinical study.

“We decided that we were going to cast a wide net and try to bring as many people as we could with Lyme disease. We needed to come where it’s really the most prevalent,” Crawford said.

People can sign up and find info on two more additional clinics being held in the next few weeks by visiting focusonlyme.org.

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