The Ticked Off Foundation is dedicated to the prevention, awareness, and support for patients with Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses that have become the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States.
Our mission is to provide financial assistance and support to Lyme and tick-borne disease patients over the age of 25 who are in crisis. We do this through grants and counseling in an effort to stem the tide of Lyme-related suicides. According to Dr. Joseph Jemsek (MD from Washington, DC), “The most common cause of death in Lyme disease is suicide.” Through our efforts and support through generous donations and sponsors, we hope to put this reality in the past.
The Ticked Off Foundation was founded in 2015 by Gregg Kirk, who was diagnosed with Lyme disease and co-infections in 2005. After going through years of treatment ranging from antibiotics, PICC lines, herbal medications and alternative healing measures, Kirk was finally healed in March of 2011 when he visited John of God’s Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola in Abadiania, Brazil. While there, Kirk experienced a major reduction of his symptoms and a spiritual awakening that inspired him to help others with the illness. Since then, Kirk has been dedicated to helping those with chronic illness through music, motivational speaking, and fundraising. He is also the founder of the Ticked Off Music Fest, a concert series that raises funds for Lyme disease awareness, support groups, research and patient treatment.
Stephanie is from Pennsylvania, the state with the most reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States, and she has dealt with chronic Lyme for more than a decade. She is also the co-founder of the Recycle for Lyme program that collects non-traditional recyclables and turns them into donations for Lyme patients.
In 2006, while employed in a very physically demanding job laying hardwood floor, she developed pins and needles numbness in one arm and double vision so extreme, parked cars on the side of the road looked as though they were directly in front of her. This was just the beginning of the downward spiral of dysfunction called Central Nervous System Lyme Disease that pervaded her system. Her struggle to walk, think clearly, see, control her musculature, and function normally led her to more health research and social activism than she ever imagined.
Just as opinions on treating Lyme Disease widely vary, so do standard treatment results. After years of misdiagnosis, months of oral antibiotics, and 28 days of IV Rocephin, decline continued and she was left to pursue “alternative therapies” which no insurance covers. Though she continuously raised funds, it could not satisfy the relentless financial demands of her care.
Looking for a way to enable those that would still help her to do so for free, she developed a recycling fundraiser. She then partnered with Ticked Off Foundation to create Recycle for Lyme, a nationwide charitable recycling program to benefit Lyme patients in crisis.
She has yet to recover, continues to fundraise, and is actively pursuing effective care. She blogs intermittently here: http://
The Ticked Off Foundation is recognized by both the IRS and State of Connecticut Franchise Tax Board as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, EIN: 47-4783824. Contributions to the Ticked Off Foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law.