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Greenwich Woman Named Co-Chair Of Time For Lyme Gala

Time for Lyme Gala co-chairs Rachel Robards and Marissa Swann.
Time for Lyme Gala co-chairs Rachel Robards and Marissa Swann. Photo Credit: Blaine Ubina

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich resident Rachel Robards and North Stamford’s Marissa Swann have been named co-chairs of Global Lyme Alliance’s (GLA) “Time for Lyme” Gala, on Saturday, April 2, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich.

Both Robards and Swann said they are “thrilled” to co-chair the event and are committed to raising awareness about the devastating impact Lyme disease can have, particularly on children.

Robards, a former program manager for Global Women’s Initiatives at IBM, says her experience with Lyme disease dates back to 1995, when she was living in upstate New York.

“I kept feeling really sick, but the ER sent me home two times saying it was the flu,” said Robards. “Then I found the bullseye rash.” Soon she was unable to move without extreme pain. Robards was eventually treated with IV antibiotics and made a full recovery. Yet despite her experience with the tick-borne illness, Lyme was not at the forefront of her mind when her 2-year old son began having symptoms.

After two years, and what they thought was toxic synovitis, a condition that causes hip pain in children, the pediatrician suggested her son be tested for Lyme.

Robards’ friend, Swann, who formerly worked as a portfolio manager at a hedge fund, says she first started feeling ill about three years ago when her son was 8 months old.

“I thought my post-natal hormones were unbalanced and hadn’t recovered,” she said. “I was an Olympic level athlete, so I knew my body, its limitations and what extreme exertion and depletion felt like. This was very different.” It took one year of repeated doctor visits and tests before Swann was finally diagnosed and treated for Lyme Disease in 2014.

The mother of two children, ages 6 and 4, Swann hopes this year’s Gala raises significant funds for the continued research to develop an accurate diagnostic test and better treatments.

Global Lyme Alliance’s “Time for Lyme” Gala will feature a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing and a live auction.

Click here or call 203-969-1333 to purchase tickets or for more information.

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