Foundation is partnering with Toronto's new Humber River Hospital to
establish Canada's first facility dedicated to Lyme disease and other
VAUGHAN, ON, July 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Rossana Di Zio Magnotta, president and
CEO of Magnotta Winery Corporation, announced today that the G.
Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseases has been granted
charitable status by the Canadian government.
Funds raised by the new foundation will be focused on establishing
Canada's first facility dedicated to research, testing and treatment of
Lyme disease and other vector-borne illnesses.
In addition, Magnotta announced the foundation is partnering with
Toronto's new Humber River Hospital to house the facility when the
state-of-the-art, acute care hospital opens in Fall 2015 in North
Toronto at Keele and 401.
"We are thrilled to be working with Humber River Hospital to bring our
long overdue facility for vector-borne diseases to Canada," said
Magnotta. "The new Humber River Hospital is leading the way as North
America's first fully digital hospital with a new model for patient
care as well as aggressive green initiatives. Now it's including a
world-class facility for researching Lyme disease and other
vector-borne illnesses that will lead to better diagnostics and
treatment for Canadians here in our own country. Currently, Canadians
have had to leave Canada to get the necessary help."
Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans through the bite of an
infected vector such as a mosquito or tick. Lyme disease is a common
vector-borne disease that's currently affecting Canadians and is
expected to grow.
Magnotta pointed to a recent study by the Public Health Agency of Canada
and published in the Journal of Applied Technology that indicated the
speed of tick invasion in eastern Canada is predicted to increase from
18% in 2010 to over 80% by 2020. Magnotta said this will likely result
in a substantial increase in Lyme disease among Canadians. The two
major factors dramatically influencing this rate of speed are more
migratory birds carrying ticks coming across Canadian borders and
"More than ever, the establishment of Canada's first facility dedicated
to vector-borne diseases is now a vital and time-sensitive goal," said
Jim Wilson, president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation added,
"Rossana has worked closely with us since 2007 and currently sits on
our Board of Directors. Together, the G. Magnotta Foundation for
Vector-Borne Diseases and the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation will
bring a synergy between evidence-based science and public awareness."
One of the top ten misdiagnosed diseases in the world which is now
found in all Canadian provinces, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection
caused by the bite of an infected tick. Lyme disease can be curable
when properly diagnosed and treated early. However, when misdiagnosed,
Lyme disease becomes debilitating, chronic and sometimes irreversible,
even fatal. This multi-system infection can attack a person's heart,
brain, bones, muscles, digestive system, skin, eyesight, hearing and
more. It can cause symptoms that mimic many other diseases including
Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinsonism resulting in a
"Canada has an estimated two million people currently suffering from
chronic diseases of unknown origin," explained Magnotta. "We hope to
take the unknown out of a significant percentage of these cases."
As part of its research initiatives, the G. Magnotta Foundation for
Vector-Borne Diseases has plans underway to establish the first
bio-repository - or "human tissue bank" - in Canada for patients who
fit the Lyme disease profile but have gone undiagnosed or have been
misdiagnosed. "Despite the accelerated growth of Lyme disease in Canada
and the U.S. over the past 20 years, no one has been doing this kind of
human pathology for vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease," according
to Magnotta. "By studying the tissue samples of these patients who have
suffered without really knowing what's wrong with them, we will be able
to identify if they have Lyme bacteria in their tissue so that they can
get immediate help instead of waiting years and maybe decades to
discover otherwise which, unfortunately, has happened to far too many
Lyme patients in Canada already. Today's technology and knowledge of
genomics allow us to analyze tissue like never before and the cost to
do so has come down considerably over the last few years making it very
feasible now to undertake."
Magnotta concluded, "Imagine the staggering dollars that have been spent
on revolving door doctor's visits resulting in misguided treatments,
tests and medication for these patients, including addictive pain
killers, steroids, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, anti-psychotics
and many others because they didn't know what they had. Imagine the
drain on our healthcare system all these years. Our research project
can change much of that."
SOURCE: Magnotta Winery
For further information:
Rossana Di Zio Magnotta
President, G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseases