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CanLyme: 20 years of Canadian advocacy

Looking back at two decades of advocacy and education; looking forward to the road ahead.

This year marks an important milestone for the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation – 20 years of Lyme disease advocacy. For the past two decades, CanLyme has led the way in promoting Lyme disease education, advocacy and research in Canada. Join us as we reflect on the history of Lyme disease in Canada, looking back on the progress that’s been made so far, and forward to what still needs to be done to reduce the impact of Lyme disease for all Canadians.

CanLyme was formed 20 years ago in response to testing and treatment protocols for Lyme disease that left many Canadians without effective healthcare solutions. Canadians were not being informed about the complexity and scope of tick-borne illnesses in Canada, leading to confusion and frustration for many patients and their healthcare providers.

Although there have been small wins over the years, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Advocates from coast to coast have been working to improve health policy, increase awareness, and support research. CanLyme has led the national effort and supports local initiatives, ensuring that advocates, patients, researchers and treating clinicians have a seat at the table alongside health associations, politicians, and policy makers.

From the National Lyme Disease Meeting in 2006, to the Conference to Develop a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease in 2016, CanLyme continues to ensure that a variety of perspectives are heard, including those of patients and advocates.1 Understanding these perspectives is critical in driving research and policy that reflect the needs of all Lyme patients, including those living with chronic Lyme disease.

CanLyme has grown over the years and continues to raise awareness, advocate, and educate across multiple platforms including news media, the CanLyme website, social media, fundraising and awareness events, and through Canada’s national Lyme disease podcast, Looking at Lyme

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation is also working to advance science and improve healthcare for Canadians through a variety of programs including scientific and healthcare provider grants. 

In the coming months, join CanLyme as we review the history of Lyme disease and advocacy in Canada, highlight Canadian research initiatives, evaluate where we’re at with testing and treatments for tick-borne diseases and continue to explore healthcare solutions for Canadian patients and their clinicians.


  1. See our archival videos from this conference in Ottawa.

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