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Bi-partisan legislation proposed to help New York families dealing with Lyme disease

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Fighting Lyme disease in New York

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- New legislation is being proposed in New York State, aiming to help families dealing with Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Named for a 10-year-old boy originally from Binghamton, the Demos-Ford Act would establish specific guidelines and protocols for healthcare providers in the proper diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.

Demos' mother DLouisa Ford says the act is a step in the right direction, as much of her son's pain may have been avoided during their years-long battle to figure out whatt was wrong with Demos.

"I honestly felt like I must be losing my mind, because I clearly knew he was sick. I saw him unable to walk at times. I have pictures of him in the middle of Wegman's laying on the floor because he was in so much pain. We just kept getting 'we don't know, we don't know, we don't know,'" Ford explained.

According to health experts, Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics if detected early.

The Demos Ford Act would require healthcare providers to provide patients with a notification form to better educate them on test results.

This form would explain, in easy-to-understand language:

  • Symptoms and risk factors for Lyme disease
  • Available methods for the detection and diagnosis of Lyme disease
  • Medical protocol as established by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health

The Demos Ford Act was introduced by New York State Senator Fred Akshar, and cosponsored by State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

Dan Conklin

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