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Despite Blindness, the Peaches are Sweet in Paran

Ignacio, a farmer with RP, tends to his peach orchard in Peru.Paran, a village of 300 people tucked in the foothills of the Andes near Lima, Peru, is known for its sweet peaches, but also its high rate of blindness. About one in eight Paranos have lost their vision.

Until recently, the villagers never understood the cause of the affliction, though they suspected there might be a genetic component because it runs in families. However, most had never even received care from a doctor.
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Brother Virginia — a Big Sound and a Big Heart

Brother Virginia's new EP benefits FFBIf you haven’t already heard of them, you probably will soon. Brother Virginia, a Nashville-based duo mixing pop, country and rock, has been on the road, crisscrossing the United States and amassing a grass-roots following, over the past couple of years. Steve and Eric have also released a new EP, Southern Summer, the proceeds from which are benefitting their favorite cause, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, through July 31.
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Lighting a Candle: The Author of a New Memoir Shares the Highs and Lows of Vision Loss

Nicole Kear with cane and bookI was 19 years old when I found out I was losing my vision as a result of a retinal disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Halfway through college, I was perched between girlhood and adulthood; I was developing my adult sense of self, planning what my grown-up life would look like. The news that I would slowly go blind changed everything.
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VISIONS 2014 — Clinical Trials Need Pioneers

Drs. Shannon Boye and Jacque DuncanWith about 20 clinical trials underway for retinal degenerative diseases, and many more ready to launch soon, the buzz about signing up for them has never been louder. When it comes to human studies for potential treatments and cures, everybody wants in.
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VISIONS 2014 – The Multi-Talented Dr. Shannon Boye

Shannon BoyeShannon Boye, Ph.D., is something of a rock star here at the VISIONS 2014 conference. Serving as a panelist in sessions on gene therapy and clinical trials, the University of Florida assistant professor has won compliments for her skill in explaining complicated research in plain English. And her compassion for those affected by retinal diseases is plain to see.
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VISIONS 2014 — My Retina Tracker: Track Your Vision and Drive the Research

Rusty BromleyOne of the big challenges with rare retinal diseases is, well, they’re rare. That makes it hard for researchers to find disease-causing genetic mutations and understand why the defects result in vision loss. It also makes it tough to figure out why a disease can progress at such different rates, even for people within the same family. Perhaps what’s most difficult is identifying enough participants for clinical trials for potential therapies.
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VISIONS 2014 – The First 24 Hours

Registration boothIf you’ve been to one of our annual VISIONS conferences, you know the Foundation takes pride in the mix of opportunities we offer attendees, everything from research updates to field trips. Rather than prattle on about how the current conference—which kicked off in Broomfield, Colorado, yesterday—is going, I thought I’d share photos and captions from VISIONS 2014’s first 24 hours. So, here goes:
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Colorado, VISIONS 2014 — See You There!

Colorado skylineIf you were someone affected by a retinal disease, and looking for the perfect event, one which combines the latest research updates with networking opportunities and support sessions, it would look exactly like the one FFB is hosting in Colorado June 19-22  — VISIONS 2014. Roughly 500 Foundation members, associates and researchers will gather at the annual conference, which will also be covered via this blog and social media, for those who can and can’t make it.
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A Must-Attend Event for People and Families Affected by Usher Syndrome

Usher Syndrome Family ConferenceFor those affected by Usher syndrome, the world’s leading cause of combined vision and hearing loss, there’s an upcoming event in Boston that should not be missed. Actually, it’s two events, back-to-back: the International Symposium on Usher Syndrome July 10 and 11; and the 6th Annual Usher Syndrome Family Conference July 12.
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FFB Goes Live to Help Save Vision

Save Your Vision Live!It’s no mystery that the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ core mission is funding research for treatments and cures of retinal diseases, and that we’re making significant progress. A recent influx of clinical, or human, trials of drug, gene and stem-cell therapies is proof. But another key FFB focus is informing the masses about retinal diseases through our public health-education program.
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