Chicago Chapter Welcome Letter

Dear Friends of the Chicago Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness:

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in our chapter. We formed this chapter over 10 years ago in support of the Foundation’s initiatives to increase public awareness in our communities, lead fundraising efforts to help fund research, and to provide information to those affected by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, Stargardt disease and all other retinal degenerative diseases.

While we are still working on building a thriving chapter, many generous and devoted volunteers and sponsors have selflessly contributed time, effort and services in support of these efforts. It is this sort of resolve that has inspired us to strengthen our chapter in the hopes of increasing community outreach and providing an improved network of support for affected individuals and their families.

Many of us involved in the chapter have a vested interest because retinal degenerative diseases have touched our lives personally or those of family members or friends. While I am not personally affected by these diseases, I joined this cause because my wife, Nadine, is affected with Stargardt disease. Our hope is that a cure is found in her lifetime. She knows, as do I, that with the research being done with the help of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a cure truly is in sight. It is no longer a question of if, but rather, when.

In June 2013, we held our 8th annual VisionWalk at Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. We consider it a huge success that we raised over $325,000 for the cause. Thanks to all who attended and if you missed it, please plan on joining us next year, it was a lot of fun.

In addition to Visionwalk and other fund raising events, we hold annual chapter meetings where we invite guest speakers addressing, among other things, current research findings, treatments and clinical trials. These events are free to attend and we encourage family members and friends to join us.

If you are in the medical field or an organization related to optical supplies, support, etc, we are always interested in developing relationships with you to be speakers at events, have booths at events, see our members as patients, provide guidance and support to our members and generally partner in any way that could benefit our targeted population.

We also host a series of coffee socials, which are informal “mini’meetings” held throughout the Chicago area.

I encourage you to become involved as a volunteer of the Chicago Chapter. The greater our volunteer efforts, the more successful and relevant our chapter will be. Please help us help others understand the importance of the Foundation’s many initiatives so that we can contribute collectively to a cure for retinal degenerative diseases.


Thomas Weber
Chapter President