How do you thank the tens of thousands of people who’ve contributed in so many ways this past year – volunteer work, donations, research advances, etc. – to help FFB eradicate retinal diseases? Aside from giving a general shout-out to those folks (you know who you are, including Eye on the Cure readers), we can offer highlights, a sampling, if you will, of the many achievements Foundation supporters have helped make happen this past year.
So here goes. We, at FFB, are thankful for:
– our volunteers nationwide, who’ve participated in a plethora of awareness- and fundraising events. They include dinners, wine tastings, golf outings, Vision Seminars, chapter and networking meetings and our signature 5K VisionWalk, which, in its eighth year, is nearing the $30-million-raised mark.
– clinicians and researchers working in top-flight facilities around the globe. Recent science-related achievements include: a boost from the FDA for an RP gene therapy developed, in part, with Foundation funding; the launch of a clinical trial for a cell-based treatment of AMD; and the founding of a company focused on delivering disease treatments to the marketplace, including a Foundation-funded LCA therapy in Phase III trials.
– the Argus II retinal prosthesis, a.k.a. “bionic retina,” given FDA approval in February. As the CEO of Second Sight, the device’s developer, mentioned in Eye on the Cure, the Foundation provided the project with seed money, which helped move it to the marketplace, where it’s changed the lives of people like Keith Hayman.
– those affected by retinal diseases who inspire us, including: Jason James “JJ” Ferreira, a 3-year-old with LCA; Jim Bernardin, a Chicago-based comedy writer and performer with Stargardt disease; and Erin Scala, who has RP and is training to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
These, and many others, including our generous donors and Foundation leaders, have helped make this another remarkable year for the Foundation. And they’ve ensured that FFB will be around until its job is done, and millions worldwide won’t have to lose their eyesight.
We wish everyone a safe, relaxing and very Happy Thanksgiving!