The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) was established in 1971 as the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation (RP Foundation) under the leadership of Gordon and Llura Gund and Ben and Beverly Berman and with the assistance of a passionate group of families, all driven to find treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases that were affecting themselves or loved ones. Ben Berman served as the RP Foundation’s first president.
At the time, very little was known about these devastating retinal degenerative diseases that lead to blindness. The Foundation’s goal was clear: To drive the research that would lead to preventions, treatments and vision restoration for the degenerative retinal diseases – including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, and Usher syndrome – that together affect more than 10 million Americans and millions more throughout the world.
Today, the Foundation is the world’s leading private source for inherited retinal disease research funding. FFB is committed to driving research until the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases is eradicated.
During its 46 year history, the Foundation has raised over $700 million in support of its effort to reverse blindness and restore vision.
Gene Therapy Restores Vision
The Foundation is funding translational research and clinical trials of gene therapy that have restored vision in patients who were virtually blind from a childhood form of retinitis pigmentosa. Thanks to the treatment, they can now enjoy some of life’s simple joys, like reading and playing baseball.
Developing Drugs to Preserve Vision
The Foundation is funding research on potential drug therapies that work by slowing or preventing the loss of retinal cells, thereby saving vision. Many of these treatments are cross-cutting, meaning they’re designed to work for a wide range of retinal conditions, regardless of the genetic defect. Foundation-funded researchers are using stem cells derived from a variety of sources, including a person’s own skin, to create healthy retinal cells that can potentially restore vision. Stem cell treatments hold great promise for people with advanced vision loss.
Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells
Foundation-funded researchers are using stem cells derived from a variety of sources, including a person’s own skin, to create healthy retinal cells that can potentially restore vision. Stem cell treatments hold great promise for people with advanced vision loss.
The foundation has also funded studies at hundreds of prominent institutions throughout the world.
The team at Complete Family Eyecare is going to help in the effort to fight blindness by participating in the Vision Walk on September 24th. This is a 5k walk fundraiser held at Lake Harriet every year. Last year, the Minnesota VisionWalk raised over $210,000 and had over 1,000 participants. Please contact us today if you would like to find out how you can join our team and walk with us.