by Dorothy Kupcha Leland

TOUCHED BY LYME: Using high level math to fight Lyme disease


UCLA Professor Deanna Needell

The Adversity 2 Advocacy Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and fostering the power of turning personal challenges into service to others with similar challenges.

“A2A” is based on the premise that we help ourselves by helping others.

Its co-founder, Jeff Bell, is a radio anchorman for KCBS in Los Angeles. In his podcast A2A Spotlight, he features individuals who have turned a personal adversity into advocacy for others.

This week, A2A Spotlight shares the story of mathematician Deanna Needell. For many years, Deanna experienced severe stomach pains, chronic headaches and uncontrollable muscle spasms—which all turned out to be caused by Lyme disease.

Now a professor of mathematics at UCLA, Deanna uses her math skills to help bring about a better future for people with Lyme disease. Working with an $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, she and her team are analyzing millions of data points from’s MyLymeData patient registry.

Their goal is to uncover patterns of symptoms that could lead to better tests and more effective treatments.

Take a listen to the podcast by clicking here:

Click here to learn more about The Adversity 2 Advocacy Alliance:

Click here to learn how you can participate in MyLymeData:

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s Vice-president and Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at .