Hundreds touched by vision loss will rally to fight blindness at the Utah 5K VisionWalk on Saturday, June 15, striving to raise $50,000 to support promising gene therapy, stem cell-based and pharmaceutical research that could save and even restore sight.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) May 30, 2013
Alex Brown and Erin Gillen, spokespersons for the 5th Annual Utah 5K VisionWalk on June 15th in Salt Lake City, Utah share their story on the TalkWorthy Radio Show on SiriusXM 143 with host Kim Power Stilson.
According to local event chairperson and guest on the TalkWorthy Radio Show, Erin Gillen, hundreds touched by vision loss will rally to fight blindness at the Utah 5K VisionWalk on Saturday, June 15, striving to raise $50,000 to support promising gene therapy, stem cell-based and pharmaceutical research that could save and even restore sight. Blinding retinal degenerative diseases like 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.
“I will always remember the day I was informed that I had something really wrong with my vision, and that I could go blind one day, ” says Laura Rough, “Optic-Mystics” VisionWalk Team Captain, of Salt Lake City. “The VisionWalk will raise greatly needed funds for sight-saving research for retinal eye diseases. The research going on right now is truly amazing, and it is critical at this stage to continue funding as effective treatments are on the horizon. I have great hope that cures for blindness will be found within my lifetime.”
Rough is affected with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by a moderate to profound deafness at birth and gradual vision loss later on due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degeneration of the retinal cells. There is currently no cure, but gene therapy clinical trials for Usher syndrome are underway. To help adapt to her continued vision loss, Rough has taken classes at the Utah Blind Center and is passionate about raising money through the VisionWalk. “It is discouraging not to have a cure today, but it’s great to have hope that one day there will be a cure,” she says.
Hundreds of walkers, many of whom are visually impaired, are expected at the free, family-friendly VisionWalk, which also includes children’s activities, a bounce house and refreshments. Dogs and strollers are welcome on the 3.1 mile walk course. Sponsors include The Moran Eye Center and The Eye Institute of Utah. Since the VisionWalk program started in 2006, tens of thousands have participated in events across the country to raise more than $25 million for blindness research.
Events Calendar Information
WHAT: Utah VisionWalk, Benefitting the Foundation Fighting Blindness
WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Registration: 10 a.m. | Stage Presentation Starts: 11 a.m. / Walk Starts: 11:15 a.m.
WHERE: Sugar House Park
1330 East 2100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
DETAILS: Join hundreds in the fight against blindness at the Utah VisionWalk, the national signature fundraising event of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Since 2006, the program has raised over $25 million to fund sight-saving research for retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome, which collectively affect more than 10 million Americans. People are invited to form teams or walk independently at the free, family-friendly event, which will also include activities for children, a bounce house, and refreshments. To participate or support the VisionWalk, visit http://www.FightBlindness.org/UtahVisionWalk.
CONTACT: Brittney Bannon, Event Manager, 972-378-3555, BBannon(at)FightBlindness(dot)org
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit driving research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. In its 42-year history, the Foundation has raised more than $500 million as the leading non-governmental funder of 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 using this method to treat a wide variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight. With a network of nearly 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support, education and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.