NEWS: Lyme activist Richard Gerstner, of CT, has died

25th July 2012

richard gerstner

He raised money for Lyme disease research and was instrumental in founding Columbia's Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Research Center.

From Lyme Research Alliance (formerly Time for Lyme):
Lyme Research Alliance remembers a good friend and colleague in the fight against Lyme disease, Richard Gerstner who died Monday, July 23rd.
Dick was the heir-apparent at IBM in 1987 when an undiagnosed case of Lyme disease forced his premature retirement. He has worked closely with this organization for many years and received the Lauren Brooks Hope Award at the Time for Lyme Gala in 2011 in recognition of his contributions in sponsoring our first grant to a research team led by Dr. Karen Newell-Rogers which ultimately led to what is expected to be a new drug treatment for Lyme disease – now in the final stages of FDA clearance prior to opening clinical trials.
Dick also served as the first Director of the Advisory Committee of the Columbia University Medical Center Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Research Center, co-founded in 2007 by this organization in association with Columbia University Medical Center and the Lyme Disease Association.
Our hearts go out to Dick’s wife Mary Joette and their family.
The funeral will be
Friday, July 27th at 10:30 am
Holy Spirit Church
403 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT
In this 2011 video presentation at the Time for Lyme Gala Dick tells the story of his battle with Lyme disease:

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5 thoughts on “NEWS: Lyme activist Richard Gerstner, of CT, has died

  1. So sorry to hear of Richards death-we all hope that there is going to be a ‘cure’ for Lyme before we die. Condolances to his family,

  2. Richard, I wish I could of known and thanked you personally for all the amazing and selfless work you did for helping Lyme Disease get the research and resources it needed. From this fellow Lyme sufferer, you are a hero, and the bravest kind there is. You fought when there were not a lot of supporters, money and energy to do so. You fought when you yourself were tired from fighting this disease. Most importantly you never gave up on putting a bright light and a loud voice and force on the shadows that kept important information and knowledge from being kept in the dark any longer. Thank you Richard. You will not be forgotten and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Bless you. I celebrate your life and happy your body is finally freed from this illness. Our prayers to your family and may they know there are many who will never forget you, a hero who gain us many victories.

  3. Words can not express our collective gratitude for all he has done. Bits of the truth have rained down on this illness, until the former lies have been drowned out, and now there is hope where none previously existed. This brave man and his efforts will never be forgotten. Thank you so much!

  4. I just learned about Richard’s story. I am sad he died at such an early age. It is a story I can relate to well. I worked at IBM for 26 years as an engineer/sales professional. I was a top peformer throughout my IBM career. The last 12 I suffered from horrible “fibromyalgia’ that turned neurological in 2006 with MS type symptoms but no diagnosis-optic neuritis, numbness, balance, extreme brain fog, jerking etc. Treatments provoked more than herx reactions-but autoimmune attacks that progressed the disease. By 2010 I could longer work I became so ill from a drug therapy. My long term disability was rejected by IBM/Metlife. I was terminated in 2012. It is sad that with stories of high level executives like Richard Gersnter and chronic lyme, IBM through Metlife denies their employees LTD for it.

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