We need volunteers to help give new hope for the people affected with this horrible disease. Below is a list of areas where you might be able to help make a difference. No amount of volunteered time is too small to make a difference and you don’t even need to have prior experience to be helpful. While we do not currently have paid positions it may be possible to compensate for your time with a tax deduction for your time spent. We will be investigating this option in the near future. Any help provided to offload our workload will then allow us to better focus on the actual science required to get the real work done. Only a team of thoughtful and conscientious volunteers will get the results these unfortunate people deserve.

Please look at the list below and see where you might be able to help. For now we need to find people who care enough about the unfortunate to try and do something to help. General volunteers or help by professionals as consultants in their specific areas of expertise would be greatly appreciated.

Listed in no particular order:

Website/WordPress – If you are reading this you already know why. We need someone you can help give us a facelift and maximize the utility of this site to help present our research to a much wider audience.

Social Media – We need to get the word out that we are here to help. The people affected by this disease are essentially shamed into silence and don’t know who is willing to believe their story. Until we have enough people to stand up and be counted there will never be enough pressure on the scientific community to do anything about this disease. All forms of social media could be utilized as a tool to help us find people who care about others that are less fortunate. If you are skilled in one or more of the social media platforms we desperately need your help.

Business/Admin – If you have any prior experience in nonprofit organizations or business operations then please do contact us.

Fundraising – If you have any experience in fundraising for 501(c)(3) nonprofit we could use your expertise in determining how best to move forward. We are just getting started and could use your advise, or to help with our current fundraising drive.

Illustration/Graphics/Digital Arts – We need graphic arts to help support our research and help us tell the story to the non-technical community and for our future research papers. Many illustrations out there are encumbered by copyright and require royalties which we can not afford. Certain illustrations that might prove educational for our specific disease do not even exist, so they must be created. If you have skills in graphics and design we could use your help. Education about this disease is extreemly important because nobody even knows about this disease right now or how all the pieces of pathology fit together.

Writing (Technical/Scientific or Creative) – We need help in telling our story and with writing future papers for Journal publication. Our story is extremely difficult to get across because the topic itself (a grotesque disease) in not something that people will gravitate to. We need tallented people that can make this topic something people will read and remember, tell their friends, and discuss in the media. We also need science minded individuals who can help us build the scientific argument for medical journal articles. We need to convince the scientific community that this problem matters and show that there is a par forward for testing and curing this disease. Without their interest there will be no Government funding to find a cure.

Journal Archive Research – There are lots of Medical Journals whose papers are not Open Access Journals and are thus they are not accessible to such a small 501(c)(3) startup because we can not yet afford a subscription to any of them. If you already have access to any of these pay-for-view journals you might be able to help us determine what papers are even meaningful to our research. If you are working for or attending a University that provides medical education in the US then you might just have access to these Journals that you never even knew were available to you. You don’t need to be a doctor, but that of course would also be helpful. Access to this technology and a scientific mind is all that is required.

Ultrasound/Sonography – We need people with knowledge in sonography to help us capture the best images possible for our future journal publications. Eventually we hope to offer a service to collect ultrasound images that might be used for a persons own doctor to get an actual diagnosis. This would be a game changer because we would then be able to get a cohort group of patients together and actually begin a clinical study of the disease in humans. You can not create a diagnostic test for a disease you can not see, nor can you create a treatment if you don’t know who is sick. Finding a way to begin the study of this disease in humans is the key to these peoples problem. We now have an ultrasound machine but still need to learn how to make the most of it.

Nonprofit Accounting – Running a nonprofit is a very specialized task. We need help in developing our internal system to satisfy all these requirements. We need someone who can guide us towards a more manageable system of accounting given the special requirements for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Immunology – We need someone who we can consult with to make sense out of our research. This particular parasitic disease actually makes changes to the immune system and therefor getting rid of the disease will require an intimate understanding of the control it has over the immune system. Patients with this disease are essentially immunocompromised. If you are knowledgeable in immunology or even just interested in how it all works then we could use your help in untangling the very complex biological pathways that will eventually lead to a cure for this disease.

Serology/Phlebotomy – The technologies that would best produce a wide scale diagnostic test will ultimately require a blood sample and a laboratory methodologies in order to get a firm diagnosis. Without a diagnosis there can be no statistics and thus no research grants. Everything depends on finding a test for the disease, and that will likely begin with blood sampling. We need someone to help us move in this direction. There are numerous Dirofilaria kits already on the market for animals that require more than a single drop of blood, and we need to develop a similar field test to do the exact same thing for humans. For this we need some expertise on equipment and techniques for dealing with this.

PCR – We need to develop a way of detecting either micro-RNA or DNA patterns to detect the presence of both Dirofilaria or Wolbachia in our research. If you have any experience in performing these kinds of laboratory tests we need your help in figuring out the best path forward to do this. How does one develop a Dirofilaria specific primer? What laboratory equipment is required? We are looking for guidance to help us move forward with this kind of diagnostic tools.

Parasitology – We need an experienced parasitologist as a consultant who might help us to properly present our case for a proper publication in the journal archives. This journey will be difficult due to the many historical assumptions about this disease that are somehow accepted as fact, and we need to present a case good enough to correct for this problem.

Veterinarian – Veterinarians deal with this specific disease every day and have a wealth of experience that may help our research. We also hope that our own research might help them as well in finding new insights into controlling this disease.

Clinical Psychologist – Historically people who present symptoms of Formication have been simply passed on to psychologists while there are some potential techniques that might discriminate between a Dirofilaria and a true psychological manifestation. We need help in investigating a protocol which could be used by clinical psychologists to correctly make this determination. Since formication and suicide are strongly correlated we could use your advise in how to deal with certain issues as well.

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