Awards Dinner to Support Ground-Breaking Research on Retinal Degenerative Diseases

Event helps fund science that is gaining ground in restoring sight for many Americans; Shire CEO Dr. Flemming Ornskov; D.C. Circuit Judge David S. Tatel and Edith S. Tatel, PhD to be honored

(Washington, DC) – The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) will hold its annual For the Love of Sight dinner on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the Ritz Carlton, Washington – reception 6:00 p.m., dinner 7:00 p.m.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funder of research aimed at preventing, treating and curing inherited retinal diseases.  These diseases include retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and Usher syndrome and affect more than 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide.  FFB’s DC dinner, now in its 15th year, has raised over $6 million to help fund sight-saving research.

Speakers at the dinner will include FFB’s Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Gordon Gund.  Gund, who lost his sight to retinitis pigmentosa in his early 30s, helped found the Foundation and is a national business leader and philanthropist.  Also speaking will be Congressmen Pete Sessions (R-Texas).

U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Judge David S. Tatel and his wife, educator and teacher trainer Dr. Edith S. Tatel, PhD will be presented with the Foundation’s Hope and Spirit Award during the dinner event.

Flemming Ornskov, MD, MPH, the CEO of Shire will be presented with the Foundation’s Visionary Award.  Shire is a global biotech company focused on serving the needs of people with rare diseases and other highly specialized conditions.  Dr. Ornskov, who has been Shire’s CEO since 2013, received his MD from the University of Copenhagen, an MBA from INSEAD and a master’s in public health from Harvard University.

"It is on behalf of my Shire colleagues that I accept this honor," says Dr. Ornskov. "FFB's admirable devotion to advancing scientific research to find treatments and cures for people with inherited retinal diseases is well aligned with the tireless efforts of my Shire colleagues who come to work every day championing for people with rare genetic diseases, including those affecting eye health. We are grateful to receive this award. It reaffirms the meaningfulness of our work."

Event co-chairs are Carlos and Edilia Gutierrez, Tom and Ann Korologos and Davida and Jim Luehrs.

“Edi and I are very pleased to be joining Tom and Ann Korologos and Davida and Jim Luehrs as co-chairs of the 2017 For the Love of Sight Dinner.  This dinner and the Foundation Fighting Blindness have been an important part of the tremendous progress being made in the search for cures for retinal degenerative diseases.  We are proud of that fact but also know there is more work to do to support additional research and clinical trials,” said Carlos Gutierrez.

FFB thanks our Visionary Benefactor partner Genentech, Inc. for its support of national Foundation activities including the For the Love of Sight Dinner.

The evening’s corporate sponsors include: Shire, Corning Incorporated, Centerra Group, LLC, Sea Watch International, LTD., Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. 

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Since the Foundation Fighting Blindness was established in 1971 it has raised more than $700 million for research on preventing, treating and curing blindness caused by inherited retinal diseases. In excess of 10 million Americans, and millions more worldwide, experience vision loss due to retinal degenerations. Through its support of focused and innovative science, and by teaming with industry, the Foundation drives the research that has and will continue to provide treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and other inherited retinal diseases.  Our goal is to advance the most promising retinal disease research in the world and across the spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.  You can help.  Every donation moves us closer to a cure.


Original Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017