Denver, Colo., Feb. 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 14-year-old Lyme disease patient, advocate and technology pioneer Olivia Goodreau will be in Washington D.C. February 27 - March 1 to be honored for her groundbreaking TickTracker App, which works to gather data and alert the world to tick sightings in an effort to decrease the number of Lyme and tick-borne disease cases. Selected for The Opportunity Project’s 14-week TOP Health Sprint (TOP), Olivia became the youngest inventor ever to participate in the program which is conducted by the Department of Commerce.

Olivia will travel to Washington D.C. to participate in the Census Bureau’s TOP Demo Day, Friday, March 1. The event will showcase 20+ new innovative tech tools to more than 15 governmental agencies searching for effective ways to solve some of the world’s most critical challenges. Olivia’s TickTracker App was also selected by the Department of Health and Human Services as one of the most impactful technological creations coming out of the TOP Health Sprint. This recognition has garnered Olivia an invitation to present at the TOP Health Showcase at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds Thursday, February 28 at the request of the Presidential Innovation Fellows and Department of Health and Human Services. Olivia will also meet with a growing list of Congressional members and top scientists on Wednesday, February 27 as a part of her three-day visit.

 

Olivia’s schedule for this unique media opportunity includes:

  • February 27
    • Congressional Visits to Multiple Members of the U.S. Congress
    • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Press Invited and Credentials Needed)
  • February 28       
    • White House Grounds Presentation (Not a Press Event)
    • 9:00 a.m. Artificial Intelligence and Open Data Innovation for Health
    • 3:00 p.m. Lafayette Building – VA - TOP Health: Together, Futurecasting Next Steps
    • (Press Invited and Credentials Need)
  • March 1     
    • U.S. Census Bureau
    • Noon–3:3:30 pm The Opportunity Project (TOP) Demo Day at Suitland, Maryland
    • 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Office Location - (Press Invited and Credentials Needed)

 

Olivia’s Story
Stricken with Lyme disease after a tick bite while on a family vacation to Missouri in the second grade, doctors struggled to find out what was wrong with Olivia since she did not present the common bulls-eye rash. After being seen by 51 different physicians, she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. Currently, she takes over 80 medications daily and several IVIG treatments monthly causing her to not only miss out on school, but a normal life of a 14-year-old girl. This experience prompted her to start the LivLyme Foundation where she devotes countless hours to the cause through supporting research, organizing fundraising events, and developing a life-saving app called TickTracker. Olivia has been honored by prominent research universities for her work, presented before federal officials and agencies, helped pass critical state legislation, raised more than $1 million to fund Lyme disease research, and continues to offer grants to treat under-insured children and young adults affected by Lyme.

Olivia’s Technological Solution -TickTracker App

  • In an effort to help curb new cases of Lyme disease, Olivia launched the TickTracker app which went live on the Apple and Google Play stores in February 2018.
  • Olivia recognized the need for technology to play a role in tick sightings and prevention, which she hopes will ultimately help to find a cure for the disease.
  • TickTracker helps combat tick transmitted infections and disease by showing real time and historic tick activity data on an interactive map through reported sightings and bites. The app also educates users on tick prevention and safety.
  • TickTracker uses a patent pending algorithm to coordinate multiple tick activity data sources into a simple and user-friendly map view. https://ticktracker.com/

Why Olivia’s Important Work Matters

  • Olivia has raised more than $1 million in two years, has given medical assistance grants to 31 kids ages 5-21 in 28 different states who are stricken with the disease, and has given four research grants to top scientists at Stanford, John Hopkins, and the University of New Haven.
  • She has received 260+ grant applications for medical assistance from kids in 48 different states and the numbers of grant applications continue to increase.
  • According to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group’s 2018 report to Congress, over the past 25 years, reports of Lyme disease have increased steadily with estimated annual cases numbering approximating 300,000.
  • The report goes on to say, “the number of U.S. counties now considered to be of high incidence for Lyme disease has increased by more than 300% in the Northeastern states and by approximately 250% in the North-Central states.”
  • Most often transmitted by tick bites, Lyme disease has been found in all 50 US states and in more than 60 other countries, which is why public awareness of its symptoms and possible contraction is so critical.
  • Not only are these numbers staggering, the U.S. is not fully prepared for the explosive increase in the tick population.
  • With the discovery of the Asian Longhorn Tick in 2017, health officials are concerned about the case numbers increasing. This particular tick, which can also be found on pets, livestock, and wildlife, can reproduce without mating. Swarms of ticks can attack in numbers of 1,000 or more on one animal or person. 
  • For more information on ticks, prevention and the LivLyme Foundation, visit: https://livlymefoundation.org/ 

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Jeff Howard
Gomez Howard Group
303-513-1628
jeff@gomezhowardgroup.com