Denver Chapter Welcome Letter
Dear Friends of the FFB Denver Chapter:
My name is Carmen Swick and I am fortunate and excited to be your Chapter President. We have had an excellent past few years of growth in fundraising and awareness and it is my goal to ensure we continue this momentum. In the upcoming year one of my primary goals is to add help seed the energy of the Chapter by increasing involvement with our youth. As we all know it is our youth who hold the key to success in the future so it is crucial we involve and engage our youth in the accomplishments of the Denver Chapter.
As Chapter President I want to share my personal story. My son Preston is affected by Amblyopia and Strabismus. This is Neuro. Has to do with the brain shutting off his vision to his left eye because it’s so weak. When Preston was almost 4 years old we took him in for his 1st eye exam, because we noticed his left eye turned in a little bit. Sadly that Doctor misdiagnosed him; her office was up the street from our home.
Preston kept complaining about his eye glasses saying they were foggy, so I called the Doctors office they assured me that it’s fine he just needs to get use to them and to make him wear them. I had a gut feeling that the prescription wasn’t correct so I called his pediatrician and I was referred to another Doctor and she told us he is wearing the wrong prescription now for 6 months! That was heart breaking! Here I am telling him to wear his glasses; all the while it could have done some damage to his eye sight.
From that date on I decided that I need to be there for my son and other Children to get the eye exams done by the guide lines. Ambylopia is the # 1 cause in blindness in Children if undetected but it is curable if treated. That’s why I think is it so important to bring awareness to low Vision. Preston has been eye patching for 4 years, he just recently stopped eye patching.
When his doctor told me that Preston was legally blind in his left eye I was almost in tears. We walked out of the doctor’s office and I looked at Preston and said, Mom is going to write a book and it’s going to be called Patch Land Adventures! I did write a series of 3 Children’s books and I am in the process of getting one published. I also write on my blogs and share our stories with other parents.
We all can make a difference even though the Foundation Fighting Blindness has to do with Retinal, and my son is Neuro. I still want to help with the efforts and mission of the FFB. One day by raising money for research it will somehow help in all areas of low vision.
I really think that we need to have more involvement with our youth that is affected with the different eye diseases. It will help them to bond and learn how to cope better with their disease and help bring awareness to the public. Many people think it’s the older generation affected by these different eye diseases. I want to be able to start having our youth speak at some of our fundraising Events, schools, media, etc. People will listen to their story, their triumphs and struggles and are more willing to help and write a check after hearing what they have to say. I truly believe that our youth can help our chapter and also some of our new young adults as will.
The Denver Chapter is one of many across the country that works hard to help people keep current on the latest research and developments concerning retinal diseases. We also provide knowledge about support services and other opportunities that are available in the Front Range area. Over the past several years chapter members have heard from retinal specialists, low vision specialists, mobility instructors. We’ve learned about local resources such for transportation options for people that can no longer drive, youth support for those young people who are affected, helpful information to aid with cooking, communication, mobile adaptive technology, guide dogs, how to get and keep a job, a vision symposium and more.
We continue to provide you with research updates at all of our quarterly meetings. In addition to providing valuable information and resources we have also offered many social activities to include summer picnics, Jazz in the Park at City Park and more.
We are fortunate to have an active and engaged chapter leadership committee that carries the spirit of FFB’s Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Gordon Gund. His vision is our vision: we will, through helping to fund vital research, save and restore sight.
Together we work to help support FFB’s research through the Colorado Vision Walk and our first ever Silent Auction and Blind Taste of the Rockies, Swing for Sight. As chief ambassador, I want to make sure that as many people as possible know about our chapter, about FFB and about the hope that we all have for the future with sight.
Please view the events schedule for the most recent list of programs and activities. We hope this encourages you to view our upcoming events and make plans to participate. Your thoughts on program content, meeting time of day, length of meeting, networking desires and anything else that may be important to you is important to me. I would love to hear from you and I welcome your participation in the Denver Chapter
Our recent Blind Taste of the Rockies and Scramble for Sight events raised over $92,000! Read more and see photos of the events. Combining our great results in 2012 with the previous 11 years, these events have raised more than $1.1 million dollars to support sight-saving research!