Hundreds touched by vision loss will rally to fight blindness at the 11th Annual Fort Wayne VisionWalk on Saturday, June 10, at Headwaters Park – Germanfest Grounds. Walk participants are striving to raise $60,000 to support promising gene, stem cell, and pharmaceutical therapies 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 research on preventions, treatments and cures.
VisionWalk Co-Chair Kristin Snyder’s son Daniel, 11, was diagnosed in May 2015 with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a retinal degenerative disease affecting the photoreceptor cells of the eye. He developed RP from a related genetic disease called Cohen Syndrome, which is characterized by intellectual and physical disabilities, congenital neutropenia, autism and retinal degeneration. “After receiving Daniel’s diagnosis, my husband and I began researching and found the Fort Wayne VisionWalk, which benefits the Foundation Fighting Blindness,” said Kristin. “We immediately decided we wanted to help find a treatment or cure and formed ‘Team Daniel’ to help raise money and awareness.”
Team Daniel has since become a force. They have participated in the Fort Wayne VisionWalk since Daniel’s diagnosis in 2015 and to date have raised over $22,000 for the Foundation. “Team Daniel gives our family hope and something positive to focus on. We’ve succeeded in turning a very negative situation into something positive and inspiring,” says Kristin.
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 2.8 mile walk course. Event leaders include Walk Co-Chairs Brenda Niccum and Kristin Snyder, Family Team Chair Anne Palmer, Lions Club Chair Jim Platzer, Chapter President Rick Dahlstrom, and Medical Chairs: Kendra N. Cunegin, OD, Cataract & Laser Institute; Scott C. Richards, MD, The Retinal Institute; and Gohar Salam, MD, Retina Institute of Indiana.
Sponsors include Visionary Benefactor: Genentech, and Community Champions: Cataract & Laser Institute and The Retinal Institute. Since the VisionWalk program started in 2006, tens of thousands have participated in events across the country to raise more than $43 million for blindness research.
Events Calendar Information
WHAT: Fort Wayne VisionWalk, Benefiting the Foundation Fighting Blindness
WHEN: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Registration: 8:30 a.m. | Walk Starts: 10 a.m.
WHERE: Headwaters Park – Germanfest
333 South Clinton Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
DETAILS: Join hundreds at the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ Fort Wayne VisionWalk to help raise awareness and funds for sight-saving research for retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and Usher syndrome, which 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, refreshments, entertainment and more. To participate or support the VisionWalk, visit www.FightBlindness.org/FortWayneVisionWalk.
CONTACT: Rachel Martin, Events Manager, RMartin, 847-680-0100