CanLyme Board of Directors

Residing from coast to coast, CanLyme’s Board of Directors each has a unique connection to the cause.

Some are Lyme survivors, some are scientists, and some are friends or family members of Lyme victims – but all are committed to preventing the spread of Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases, improving diagnostics, and improving treatment. Tick borne diseases disease do not discriminate by language, education, financial standing, academic standing, religion, race, colour, sex identity, age, or wealth. We are driven by passion led by compassion.

Jim Wilson (West Kelowna, BC)

President and Founder;  Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

Jim Wilson has been involved in networking with Lyme victims and providing information for over 20 years. He contracted Lyme disease in 1991 in Dartmouth, N.S. and his daughter contracted Lyme disease in 2001 in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

With a background in investigating medical malpractice and legal liability matters, Jim provides unique insight into medical research from a perspective of conflict of evidence.

Suzanna Wong, PhD (Edmonton, AB)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Alberta

Robert Doucet (Hampton, NB)

Former Land Survey Technician for the NB Department of Natural Resources

Robert’s health began to decline in fall 2002. After much suffering, Robert was eventually diagnosed with Lyme, and has since set out to promote Lyme education.

He was also selected by the regional chief medical officer for the city of St. John, N.B. to sit on the “Climate Change and Lyme Disease” committee for Milledgeville Area (an endemic Lyme area). Robert also works closely with New Brunswick’s health authorities to promote Lyme awareness.

Dr. W. Reuben Kaufman (Salt Spring Island, BC)

Professor Emeritus of Zoology; University of Alberta

A Professor at the University of Alberta from 1977 to 2012, Reuben Kaufman has conducted research on numerous aspects of tick biology since 1968.  He retired to Salt Spring Island from U of A in 2012, and through the courtesy of Dr. Justene Tedder he has been given space at the Gulf Islands Veterinary Clinic to continue his research on the mechanical properties of the tick cuticle.  He provides Janet Sperling with numerous Ixodes pacificus ticks from the island, which she uses for her research on Lyme Disease.

Dr. Linda Laidlaw (Edmonton, AB)

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education; University of Alberta

Her research is in the area of literacy, curriculum, diversity, and complexity theory. After witnessing her own daughter’s struggle with Lyme disease and diagnosis, Linda developed an interest in the cognitive problems associated with chronic Lyme disease, and how parents and schools can best address those issues.

Linda’s daughter has made a substantial recovery, and her positive response to treatment has moderated her doctors’ previously skeptical view of Lyme disease.

Rossana Magnotta (Toronto, ON)

President and CEO; Magnotta Winery

Rossana Magnotta is a driving force in raising Lyme disease awareness and fundraising in Canada. After witnessing her own family’s struggle with Lyme, Rossana knows firsthand how frustrating, exhausting and life-changing Lyme disease can be.

With a background in medical laboratory science, Rossana’s vast philanthropic activities over the years have focused on healthcare and the needy. Rossana has experience sitting on hospital and various other boards, and is now exclusively devoted to advancing Lyme disease awareness and research through fundraising, public speaking, and working closely with CanLyme to help build a research and testing facility in Canada.

Janet Sperling, M.Sc. (Edmonton, AB)

Entomologist 

Janet Sperling has personal experience navigating the complexities of Lyme diagnosis and treatment for her family. A Master’s in Entomology has given her a background for understanding the biological diversity and diagnostic complexity of arthropod-vectored illnesses.

Robert G. Murray (DDS) Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Rob grew up in a family and neighbourhood with lots of multiple sclerosis (MS) cases.

He has a biology background, with summer employment from the National Research Council and Department of Fisheries, while he studied dentistry (Dalhousie). He established a dental practice in the first collaborative Medical/Dental Centre in Lunenburg in 1973. Rob retired after 40 year practice with multiple physical complaints. He went on to self-diagnose Lyme borreliosis (LB) followed by medical diagnostics after researching the disease for an 84 year old friend. Rob recognized that not being able to lift one’s feet when skating was not normal aging, nor were many other symptoms. He already knew of the political problems and gaps in knowledge in the medical community when it came to LB and is determined to stay in Nova Scotia to change conditions on the ground for present and future patients.

Chris Robinson, MA (Health Economics), Cavendish, PEI

  • Epidemiologist/manager – Public Health Agency of Canada, (2000 to 2012): eg Led $3 million fed-prov research culminating in CANRISK diabetes screening protocol & risk scoring tool; urinary sodium survey in Eastern Ontario to assess dietary salt intake in general population
  • Senior health economist – NB Health and Community Services (1992 to 2000)
  • Public health advocate (various CBC interviews & letters to editor re: tick borne disease; and creating PEI defibrillator registry; ambulance / emergency medical services)

Dr. Shelley Ball (Westport, Ontario)

Founder/President Biosphere Environmental Education

As a biologist living in a rural setting and in a Lyme ‘hotspot’, after her first tick bite, Shelley became concerned about educating local citizens about the risks of Lyme and how to live in ‘Lyme country’ while still enjoying the outdoors and nature. Following another tick bite, she is experiencing first hand, what it is like to live with Lyme Disease (and their co-infections) and the challenges presented by our medical system in diagnosing and treating Lyme and their co-infections. As a former research scientist and university professor in evolutionary ecology and population genetics, Shelley is keen to use her knowledge of science and her science communication skills to help create awareness about the current scientific understanding about Lyme and to help effect change so that better diagnostic tools and treatment are available to Canadians.

Herman Green  BEd., MEd

Buffalo Point, Manitoba
Councilor and Land/Office Manager

Bio to follow