Message from the CEO: Historic Gifts
Co-Founders Gordon and Lulie Gund and an anonymous donor have pledged $100 million for a wide range of research projects over the next five years, providing $10 million per year from 2011 through 2015. In addition, another anonymous donor is committing at least $5 million for clinical research over the same timeframe. These unprecedented investments in retinal research come at a pivotal time, but by no means lessen our fundraising needs.
The Foundation Announces New National Trustees
The Foundation has named four new national
trustees in recognition of their commitment to driving retinal research and
strong support of FFB. The national trustees are Donna Burke Tehaan, Jody Kelly, Dr. Kamal Majeed,
and Michelle Veloce.
The Three Major Inheritance Patterns
Most retinal degenerative diseases are inherited, caused
primarily by genetic variations passed down from one or both parents, through
one of three inheritance patterns – autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, or
The X-Link Factor
After three years of intensive research on multiple fronts,
a consortium funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness is reporting
significant progress in the development of vision-saving treatments for
X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. The consortium fosters the collaboration
of researchers for identifying and developing treatment opportunities.
Stem Cell Clinical Trials for Stargardt Disease and
Dry AMD Set to Begin
Advanced Cell Technology has received authorization
from the FDA to begin two human studies of a retinal degenerative disease
treatment derived from human embryonic stem cells. One trial will evaluate the
treatment in people with Stargardt disease, a juvenile form of macular
degeneration. The other trial will evaluate the therapy in people with dry
age-related macular degeneration, a disease affecting more than 10
million Americans over the age of 50.
Stem Cell Update: Research, Legislation, FAQs
Stem cell research continues to garner much media attention
as a result of advances in promising stem cell treatments for retinal diseases
and other conditions, and continuing legal and political discussions regarding
federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research.
When People Know, They Want to Help
Peter Borchardt’s family is affected by retinitis pigmentosa
across several generations – his grandfather and father were affected, and now
his oldest son is affected as well. Peter’s desire for more information about
the disease that has had such a profound impact on his family led him to the
Foundation Fighting Blindness.
26.2 Miles: Blind Runner Completes Marathon with Goal
to Raise Money for Retinal Research
Ed McDaniel was born with a serious hearing impairment and
was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in his twenties. The combination of hearing and vision loss, called Usher
syndrome, was devastating. But Ed kept moving forward – literally. A lifelong
runner, Ed completed the Ridge to Bridge Marathon in North Carolina and raised
more than $3,500 for retinal research.
VisionNation Profile: The Johnsons
Meet the Johnsons, one of the first VisionNation
campaign leaders, who are close to meeting their $1,000 fundraising goal. Learn
more about VisionNation and how you can be a leader in a community that is
coming together to end blindness and restore sight.
2nd Annual Northern Virginia Dining in the
Dark Achieves Great Success
Despite the wintery weather, more than 200 guests attended
the second annual Northern Virginia Dining in the Dark Visionary Awards Dinner
at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner on Thursday, December 16. Thanks to the
dedicated co-chairs, honorary co-chairs, and dinner committee, the dinner
raised nearly $300,000 for retinal research.
Banking on a Cure: New York Visionary Awards Dinner
On Wednesday, January 19, more than 350 guests arrived at
The Plaza Hotel in New York City for the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ Bank on
a Cure New York Visionary Awards Dinner. A passionate committee and team of
co-chairs worked together to plan a dinner that raised $1 million for retinal
Spring 2011 VisionWalk Season to Kick Off in March
The Foundation’s national signature fundraising event,
VisionWalk, is back for its 5th year and teams across the country
are gearing up to kick off the spring 2011 season!
Visit our Web site for a complete list of Foundation events nationwide.
Events and Research Take the Media Center Stage
Media covering the Foundation’s Northern Virginia
Dining in the Dark and Banking on a Cure New York Visionary Awards Dinner were
intrigued by well-known honorees and unique event concepts. And, Dr. Stephen
Rose, chief research officer, weighed in with expertise for research-related
Check out the latest media coverage of the Foundation.