Los Angeles Chapter Featured Volunteer

“Hope!” was the one word answer given by Caroline Saltzman when asked why she joined the Foundation Fighting Blindness and subsequently became the president of the board of directors for the Los Angeles chapter. The hope and the answers Caroline was looking for were not for herself but for her granddaughter, Genevieve. “Genvi” as she is called by family and friends had always been myopic, but the correction offered by her optometrist was suddenly not working. Moving from doctor to doctor there was no definitive diagnosis. A brain tumor was considered at one point. Finally, it was suggested that Genvi see a retinal specialist. This doctor quickly diagnosed Stargardt disease.

Caroline’s dear friend, the novelist Carolyn See who suffers from macular degeneration, mentioned a wine tasting party given by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This was the first time that Caroline Saltzman had heard of the Foundation. She attended the wine tasting, and by the next year was involved in fundraising for the Foundation. Genvi was 17 at this time and facing her freshman year in college. Now 21, Genvi will be graduating soon from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. Visual aids and her own courage and determination enabled her to keep up with her classmates. She is an English major and writing her first novel as her senior project. Genvi hopes to be a writer, and she is also considering working with children using art as a learning tool.

Caroline will never give up her search for a cure for Stargardt disease, and is thrilled with the recent breakthroughs in the field of retinal research. The Foundation Fighting Blindness gave her a chance to do something to help find a cure for her granddaughter, and all others suffering from retinal diseases. She is very enthusiastic about the fundraising activities and the emotional and educational support offered by the Foundation. This is why she was delighted to become president of the Los Angeles chapter and plans to continue working for this cause until all the cures are found.