Hundreds of people who have been touched by vision loss will rally to fight blindness at the Lehigh Valley 5K VisionWalk on Saturday, Sept. 26, at ArtsQuest SteelStacks, striving to raise $50,000 to support promising gene therapy, stem cell and pharmaceutical-based research that could save and even restore sight.
Blinding retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and Usher syndrome affect more than 10 million Americans, but the Foundation Fighting Blindness is funding cutting-edge studies toward preventions, treatments and cures.
For Lori Marsh of Shoemakersville, Pa., “the Foundation Fighting Blindness has become a very big part of my life.”
Lori’s 17-year-old daughter Megan was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease nine years ago. Megan is ambitious and believes the foundation will help provide the funds to researchers to find a cure for her and everyone else with vision robbing diseases.
“The people we have met through the Foundation have become family to us,” she said. “We support each other during rough times and join together in fun times to raise money to find a cure for these blinding diseases.”
“Watching our 10-year-old son Markie lose his vision is a daily struggle, but we have so much hope thanks to the exciting research and clinical trials underway for retinal diseases, made possible by the Foundation Fighting Blindness,” said Mark and Sue DeVoe of Washington, N.J. “Raising awareness and funds for research through the VisionWalk is our way to help move the needle forward, so that one day Markie may not have to live in darkness.”
For Kathy Fenstermacher of Bethlehem it is difficult to watch her son have to give up on sports and activities he had enjoyed due to loss of vision.
“The VisionWalk has meant the world to me in getting to know other families dealing with the same set of restrictions,” Fenstermacher said.
Hundreds of walkers, many of whom are affected by retinal disease, are expected at the free VisionWalk, which also includes children’s activities, refreshments, entertainment and more.
Dogs and strollers are welcome on the 3.1 mile walk course.
Event leaders include Mark and Sue DeVoe, Lori Marsh, Kathy Fenstermacher and Diana Worley.
Since the VisionWalk program started in 2006, tens of thousands of people have participated in events across the country to raise more than $37 million for blindness research.
WHAT: Lehigh Valley VisionWalk, Benefiting the Foundation Fighting Blindness
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 | Registration: 9 a.m. | Walk Starts: 10 a.m.
WHERE: ArtsQuest SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015
About Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national non-profit organization driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the foundation has raised nearly $550 million as the leading non-governmental funder of inherited retinal research. Breakthrough foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for additional clinical trials to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases. The foundation also has nearly 50 chapters that provide support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.
Note: The preceding is a press release from the Foundation Fighting Blindness.