Houston Chapter Welcome Letter
Dear Friends of the FFB Houston Chapter:
My name is Carley Colton and I am honored and blessed to be your Chapter President for 2016. We have had an excellent past few years of growth in fundraising, membership and awareness and it is our goal to ensure we continue this momentum in the year 2016.
I want to thank you for your interest in the Foundation Fighting Blindness and its mission to find preventions, treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation is the world’s largest non-governmental funder of research for inherited retinal degenerative diseases and it would not be as successful without people just like YOU, wanting to make a difference and find a cure!
Today, it is more important than ever that the Foundation continues to increase its funding of research and clinical trials which are now a reality. The Houston Chapter and its volunteers are a key component in helping raise awareness about and funding for inherited retinal degenerative diseases, such as, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Stargardt Disease, Usher Syndrome and Macular Degeneration.
As Chapter President I would like to share my personal story with you. I have Stargardt Disease which is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. In my case, it manifested itself while I was a sophomore attending Texas A&M University. I had already lost a significant amount of central vision in both eyes upon diagnosis in 2004. Fortunately, I have been blessed and over the past eight years my vision has remained relatively stable. I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in May 2006 and then continued on to attain a Masters of Educational Administration from The University of St. Thomas in December 2008. I am currently a 1st Grade teacher in the Houston Independent School District. Over the past eight years, I have learned a great deal about retinal degenerative diseases, accommodations and adaptive technology for those who are visually impaired and the ongoing research to find a cure for blindness. I have also had the opportunity to serve as a Houston Chapter Leader for the past three years.
The Houston Chapter strives to provide a supportive environment for individuals who may personally be affected by a retinal degenerative eye disease, has family or friends affected or those who work closely with a visually impaired client base. Our Chapter members are focused on our mission to fund research to find preventions, treatments and cures for retinal degenerative eye diseases. Our Chapter members are helping push the research further and faster.
The Houston 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 Houston area. Over the past several years chapter members have heard from retinal specialists, low vision specialists and mobility instructors.
We continue to provide research updates at all of our meetings. In addition to providing valuable information and resources we have also offered many social activities such as coffee socials and happy hours.
Our Chapter leaders also participate in the Foundation’s signature fundraiser, VisionWalk, which has raised millions of dollars for research and various other fundraisers.
I encourage you to become involved TODAY! I would love to hear from you and I welcome your participation in the Houston Chapter! With your help, a cure is in sight!
All the best,
Please contact me at: Houston@FightBlindness.org