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First AMD Patient Receives Argus II Bionic Retina

Ray Flynn wearing the Argus IIThere’s nothing more exciting than news about vision restoration for someone blind from a retinal disease. But a report coming from across the pond is especially compelling, because it’s about the first person with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to receive the Argus II bionic retina.
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One Thing That Scares You

Nicole Kear“Do one thing every day that scares you,” my 10-year-old son told me a few months ago. “That’s what Eleanor Roosevelt said.”

He recently studied the Roosevelts, and, it turns out, the Roosevelts had a lot to say about fear, most famously Franklin in his inaugural address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
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Gene Therapy Strengthens the Retina’s Connection to the Brain

diagram of brain affected by LCA therapyWhile we often think of the retina as that magical piece of tissue lining the back of the eye that makes vision possible, the brain is also an essential partner in the visual process. When light comes into the eye and is converted to electrical signals, those signals are sent through the optic nerve to the back of the brain, where they are transformed into the images we see. When children are born, pathways between the retina and the brain are in place, and, with increased interaction with the world, they become stronger over time.
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Walking a Mile (or More) in Their Shoes

The Healey parentsThere’s an old saying that, depending on who’s doing the quoting, goes something like this: “You can’t really know a person until you walk a mile in his or her shoes.” That’s certainly true when it comes to grasping what it means to lose one’s eyesight to a retinal disease.
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VISIONS 2015, Faces of VISIONS – Carol Brill

Carol Brill“If one person’s giving me a hard time, I’m not going to let him ruin my day,” says Carol Brill. “I always remember there are seven billion other people in the world who can make me happy.”
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VISIONS 2015 – Dr. José Sahel Receives Foundation’s Most Prestigious Research Honor

Dr. SahelI’ve known Dr. José Sahel for more than a decade, and every time I’m with him, I’m impressed by his humility and graciousness. He’s not much for rhetoric or small talk, but is always polite and insightful. Dr. Sahel is also very soft-spoken, but I think that’s his secret weapon. He forces you to really listen to what he’s saying.
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VISIONS 2015 – Dr. Shannon Boye Receives FFB Award for Excellence in Gene-Therapy Research

Shannon Boye accepting the awardWhen it comes to developing innovative gene therapies for retinal diseases, few researchers are doing more than Shannon Boye, Ph.D., and her laboratory staff of 10 at the University of Florida. In addition to advancing a gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) caused by GUCY2D mutations toward a human study, Dr. Boye and her team are enhancing gene-delivery systems by making them safer to administer and able to carry larger payloads than current systems.
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VISIONS 2015, Faces of VISIONS – Phillip Mason

Phillip MasonOne of the speakers at VISIONS 2015 is Phillip Mason, a development officer at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland whose topic of discussion is “Physical Fitness and Sports for the Visually Impaired.”
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VISIONS 2015, Faces of VISIONS – Amy and Nathan Hayes

Amy and Nathan HayesOne of the wonderful things about the Foundation’s annual conference—taking place this year in FFB’s founding city of Baltimore—is it draws all kinds of people from around the world. And while they’ve come to gather research information and hear motivational speakers and meet others like themselves, each has his or her own story to tell.
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VISIONS 2015, FFB’s National Conference — In Our Founding City!

skyline of BaltimoreIt was 44 years ago that a handful of Baltimore-area families—intent on wiping out the vision-robbing retinal diseases affecting their members—established the Foundation Fighting Blindness. They soon discovered how daunting that task would be, but also offered each other support and solace during a very dark time.
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