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The Cure is in Sight: The Campaign for Glaucoma Research Foundation

Last April, Glaucoma Research Foundation publicly launched the Cure is in Sight Campaign to ensure funding for the Catalyst for a Cure (CFC) Biomarker Initiative as well the advancement of all of our sight-saving research and education programs.

Thanks to more than 15,000 contributions over the past four years, we have exceeded our $15 million goal and raised more than $16 million to date. Thank you for your extraordinary support.

This essential funding has provided the necessary resources to forward our collaborative research efforts and support four laboratories focused on new glaucoma biomarkers. Their objective is a more effective way to diagnose and manage glaucoma, before vision is irreversibly lost. As a result of this work, newly identified biomarkers are now being tested in patients and utilized in two clinical trials for vision restoration.

In addition to the groundbreaking work of the CFC team, 32 promising scientific investigations were funded through our Shaffer Grants program thanks to generous Campaign support. These important projects allow scientists to test novel ideas, leading us closer to new therapies and a cure.

Due to the success of the CFC Biomarker Initiative, there is now a clearer pathway toward a therapeutic strategy for restoring lost vision in glaucoma patients. While there are effective treatments for lowering eye pressure to preserve vision, some patients’ glaucoma unfortunately will continue to progress. Additional research is needed to explore and test how to repair and restore lost vision due to damage caused by glaucoma, in order to prevent blindness.

With this urgent priority in mind, the Board of Directors have unanimously agreed to begin planning for the next CFC collaboration to focus on vision restoration. A Scientific Advisory Board has been established to oversee the direction of the research and identify principal investigators.

To fund the next multi-year research endeavor, the Board also agreed to extend The Cure is in Sight Campaign, to raise $25 million by 2020.

An Ambitious Goal for A Bold Vision — A Future Free from Glaucoma

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Tom Brunner announcing Liz Stratton's Campaign gift at the Gala

The response to The Cure is in Sight Campaign has been remarkable. Thomas M. Brunner, President and CEO of Glaucoma Research Foundation noted that “This was the largest campaign in our 40-year history and we are overwhelmed with the philanthropic and visionary spirit of our community. We are incredibly grateful to each and every donor for bringing us to this point.”

In December 2017, Glaucoma Research Foundation received a $1.5 million gift from Liz Stratton in honor of her physician, Carl V. Migliazzo, MD. This cornerstone gift to the Campaign will provide initial seed funding to move forward with the establishment of the next CFC team to focus on vision restoration.

Mr. Brunner added, “By expanding the Campaign and setting a new goal of $25 million, we can ensure the necessary resources for the first phase of the next Catalyst for a Cure. There is incredible momentum with our investigations, and we must continue to explore ways to help patients preserve and restore their vision. Patients are counting on us. We simply can’t stop now.”

In addition to establishing the next CFC, additional resources are needed to continue the one-year Shaffer Grants that allow novel ideas to go forward. The Campaign also supports essential education and awareness efforts.

Since its establishment in 1978, Glaucoma Research Foundation has been an incredible catalyst in the field of glaucoma, initiating numerous important discoveries that have led to new treatment options and a better understanding of the mechanisms of the disease. As a result, we are closer than ever to making game-changing advances and realizing a future without glaucoma.

To make a gift to The Cure is in Sight Campaign, or to create your own online fundraiser, please visit www.glaucoma.org/campaign.

Because of you, the cure is truly in sight.

Last reviewed on May 08, 2018

This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of Gleams.

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