Introducing the Glaucoma Butterfly

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The Polakoff Foundation promotes an international symbol of hope and awareness in the fight against glaucoma

The Glaucoma Butterfly

This campaign is critically important to the worldwide fight against glaucoma.

In concert with World Glaucoma Week in March, The Polakoff Foundation is launching a campaign to make a custom butterfly design the international symbol of hope and awareness for glaucoma, a blinding eye disease believed to affect 70 million and blind 8 million people around the world. The Polakoff Foundation has offered the green, blue and white butterfly as a starting point for increasing public consciousness regarding the dangers of glaucoma. The colorful butterfly is an aesthetically pleasing image which serves as a representation of a patient who embraces preventive glaucoma care and preserves full sight enabling free and independent flight from the disease.

“This campaign is critically important to the worldwide fight against glaucoma,” said Alan L. Robin, M.D., an internationally-known glaucoma specialist based in Baltimore, MD, and member of the Board of Directors of The Polakoff Foundation. “Much like the familiar pink ribbon is identified with breast cancer by the average person, it is our goal to create an equal level of awareness relative to the butterfly and glaucoma. The benefits of this campaign are vast. To the extent the butterfly is placed into the consciousness of the at-risk population, the medical community can do a more effective job helping people with glaucoma save their sight before it is lost.”

Glaucoma robs victims of eyesight with no warning signs. Sight lost from glaucoma is permanent and can never be recovered making awareness and prevention the key to fighting the disease. The Polakoff Foundation is enabling qualified entities engaged in the fight against glaucoma to have use of the butterfly image in order to promote glaucoma awareness.

“Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable blindness,” said Samuel F. Boles, M.D., of Annapolis, MD, who is a glaucoma specialist and board member of The Polakoff Foundation “It tends to strike people over 60, African-Americans over 40, those with family history and diabetics. Much like high blood pressure twenty-five years ago, we find that the general public is relatively unaware of glaucoma and the dangers of going blind without recourse. “The campaign will enable the world to use this colorful symbol for fundraising and awareness campaigns to the benefit of millions who might otherwise fall prey to the needless and permanent loss of their eyesight.”

Beginning later this year, qualified parties will be able to license and download a JPEG or EPS format at for use in promoting glaucoma awareness. In addition, The Polakoff Foundation, in association with TV Ties, LLC of Baltimore, Maryland, will expand on the campaign by offering for sale a high quality, men’s silk necktie featuring the glaucoma butterfly. Proceeds of the sale will be donated to the fight against glaucoma. The Polakoff Foundation will seek the participation of ophthalmologists and optometrists around the world to be amongst the first to purchase and wear the ties as ambassadors of the fight against glaucoma.

About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a set of eye diseases that affects nearly 70 million people worldwide and three million people in the United States. Glaucoma is called "The Silent Thief" as it often steals the victims’ sight without any obvious warning signs. At present, sight lost to glaucoma can never be recovered. High risk groups include people with family history of the disease, people over 60, African-Americans, diabetics, people who are extremely nearsighted or farsighted, long-time users of steroid medications, the victim of a severe eye trauma, Hispanics, Russian Jews and American Indians. Learn more at

More About The Butterfly Design

The butterfly design was conceived and adapted for international use by Nancy Kapp & Co., Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland, a full-service marketing firm. Nancy Kapp, the firm’s founder and CEO, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The Polakoff Foundation and has donated the use of this symbol to The Polakoff Foundation.

About The Polakoff Foundation

The Samuel R. and Denise F. Polakoff Foundation, Ltd. (The Polakoff Foundation) was started in 2006 to assist in the fight against glaucoma and is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The Polakoff Foundation raises funds, creates awareness and makes services available to glaucoma patients and those who may be at risk for glaucoma. Learn more at

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