Foundation Fighting Blindness

VisionWalk a Success | Foundation Fighting Blindness

Medical Chair, Randall Wong, M.D., FFB Northern VirginiaThe northern Virginia chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness just completed our signature fundraising event:  VisionWalk 2014.

We had perfect weather (even by Washington, D.C. standards) for our event.  Over 400 people participated to celebrate our fundraising goal of $140,000.

You can still donate through June 30.

36 Teams and 400 Walkers

Over 3 dozen teams participated.  “Team Wong” was small, but supercharged.  Most teams are formed around a friend or family member afflicted with a retinal degenerative disease.

Retinal degenerative diseases macular degeneration, Usher’s syndrome, Retinitis Pigmentosa and several others.  Foundation Fighting Blindness is the largest private funding for retinal research in the world.

There are 51 chapters around the USA.  I chaired the northern Virginia chapter this year and have already pledged to repeat for 2015.

Team Wong’s First Walk!

Team Wong met at Whole Foods in Alexandria for breakfast and to get organized.  The group leader (RVW) was a little slack and was not able to order shirts, but elected to adorn all walkers on his team with a red and yellow tulip.  This may be repeated next year!.  A special thanks to Andrea who helped fashion our “team” boutonnieres!

After breakfast, Team Wong migrated to the park to get organized.  We were overwhelmed by the numbers of people and size of some of the groups.

I was worried morale would be crushed by lack of T-shirts.

Apparently, few teams ordered shirts.  Armed with our floral arrangements, we started feeling a wee bit better about ourselves… least RVW was!

Short Speech and Ribbon Cutting

My speech was short.  I applauded the organizers; especially Heather Medina, Ms. Sumers and Davida.  I charged everyone with closing the gap between those with disease and the researchers; a feat now possible due to digital communications.

Davida’s daughter also has Retinitis Pigmentosa.  She and I cut the ribbon to begin the 3.5 mile walk around the park (see pic above).

It wasn’t a walk-a-thon, it was an event to acknowledge our commitment, and yours, to helping find cures to retinal degenerative disease.  VisionWalk is one of two signature events of Foundation Fighting Blindness to raise money for research for retinal diseases.

“Dine in the Dark” is the second major fundraising activity.

What Does this Mean?

Since I first accepted the medical chair for the northern Virginia, I have been moved by the energy and dedication of this particular group.

The pace of retinal research is breathtaking.  Just 20 years ago we had no idea how to treat macular degeneration.  Now, treatment for wet ARMD seems “routine.”

My guess is that this will become the norm for more retinal degenerative diseases such as Stargardt’s, Usher’s and more.  Better yet, I think this will happen before the next generation.

The ability to communicate with one another and form relationships without ever actually shaking hands is now easier than ever.  Patients now have the ability to put a “face” to the  “name” of diseases so that researchers can make their work even more meaningful.  Digital communication, blogs and social media translate to more aware of disease and FFB.

In addition to funding, digital communication has the potential to be a catalyst for new discoveries and cures for retinal diseases.

Foundation Fighting Blindness Personal

Wong Medical Chair | Foundation Fighting Blindness

FFBI am proud and excited to be the 2014 chair of the Northern Virginia chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit organization and the world’s leading private source for funding research on inherited retinal degenerative diseases, such as;

Since its inception in 1971, FFB has raised nearly $550 million to find cures for retinal diseases.

51 Chapters Across the United States

There are 51 chapters across the United States.  I am chair of the Northern Virginia chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness and am looking forward to participating in VisionWalk, one of two signature fund raising events of the Foundation.  Our chapter is setting a goal of $140,000.

Please donate on my behalf.

How Can You Help Me?

1.  Make a Donation

Please donate on my behalf to the Foundation Fighting Blindness.  It’s easy, click on the link and give what you can.  Remember, donations are tax deductible in the U.S.

I’ve set an arbitrary goal of $5000.  I am hopeful that with the help of my readers I will exceed this goal.   I know, together, we can do it.  To donate click here.

2. Walk the VisionWalk (Team Randall Wong MD)

If you wish, join my team and walk with my Team,  Amy and me on April 27, 2014 at Cameron Run Regional Park.  You may also find a closer VisionWalk.  Register for a VisionWalk close to you;

To register online:

  1. Go to Vision Walk
  2. Select the Walk close to you.
  3. You can:
    a.  Create a Team
    b.  Join a Team (Team Randall Wong MD)
    c. Participate as an Individual

What Does This Mean?

When I first started practice there weren’t any viable treatments for wet macular degeneration.  Now, in 2014, anti-VEGF injections are saving and the improving the sight of patients with wet ARMD.

Macular patches, stem cells, gene therapy, implantable telescopes are all possible solutions for patients with other retinal degenerative diseases.  I am confident that within this generation, more cures will be discovered for patients with Startgardt’s Disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa and other inherited retinal diseases.

Please support my participation by donating to FFB.

Thank you!



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