Three weeks ago, FFB kicked off its Front Lines Fan (FLF) campaign, in part to celebrate those who are on the front lines of fighting blindness. They include researchers, chapter leaders, those walking and racing for a cure, fundraisers, parents and, of course, people affected by retinal diseases. We also wanted to provide an opportunity for those who help us any way they can to be recognized. You can enter our FLF contest by either nominating yourself or someone you consider a deserving FLF.
When the campaign ends, on May 10, the top vote-getter will win a trip for two to our VISIONS 2013 conference in Baltimore. As I write this, 32 nominees have received more than 3,200 votes, but we have a couple weeks to go. So if you haven’t yet, please nominate and vote.
Meanwhile, there’s no way we can recognize everyone on the front lines – there are literally millions of them. But we can offer a sampling. Below, you’ll find three people we consider FLFs, along with links to FFB stories covering their work. I urge you to take a look.
|Eric Fulton – One of many in a family affected by retinitis pigmentosa, Eric is a communications manager, a father of two and a proactive supporter of the Foundation. Over three years, his VisionWalk team, Walking Into Walls, raised roughly $15,000. He’s also an active member, in Maryland, of the Montgomery County VisionWalk leadership committee who’s served as event chair and social media and marketing chair.|
|Dr. José Sahel – Based at the Institut de la Vision in Paris, France, Dr. Sahel is a Foundation-funded researcher involved in many vision-saving projects. Most recently, he was awarded an FFB grant to develop a gene therapy that would keep cones – retinal cells providing central and daytime vision – alive in people affected by various retinal diseases.|
|The Ferreiras – Since their son, J.J., was diagnosed with Leber congenital amaurosis, New Yorkers Jason and Jennifer Ferreira have wasted no time in furthering FFB’s cause—first as VisionWalk participants, then as co-founders of two annual Foundation events. “Pitching for a Cure,” held at Yankees Stadium, has raised $70,000 thus far, and two “Una Vision Para El Futuro” (or “A Vision for the Future”) dinners have garnered $675,000. Jennifer and Jason are now FFB national trustees who encourage all parents of children with retinal diseases to get involved in any way possible.|
Just a reminder: If there’s someone you know doing something similar to the folks above, check out our FLF page on Facebook for instructions on how to nominate and vote. Or you can use the button below.