Macula Vision Research Foundation - Macular Degeneration Support Groups
Macula Vision Research Foundation - Montgomery; Conshohocken
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Description of Service
In 1989, Karen and Herb Lotman became very interested in finding out who was working to find the cure and prevention for macula degeneration. To their dismay, they learned that there was very little coordinated research or testing being done — even though it is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Most people take their vision for granted until an injury or vision abnormality makes them realize that the ability to see is fundamental to our daily life and an irreplaceable asset. Macular degeneration affects 15 million Americans. An impaired macula prevents a person from clearly seeing objects straight ahead; such as faces, words on a page, pictures, flowers, television. At its worst, the sufferer has only very limited peripheral vision people cannot see the faces of their children and grandchildren.
The Genetic Link:
Since Karen's mother has macular degeneration, they had real concerns about the genetic link to future generations of their family. That is why they have chosen to devote their time, efforts, and resources to creating the Macula Vision Research Foundation.
A Focus of Their Lives
They intend to make its success a major focus of their lives, with the hope that the members of their family and yours will not endure needless suffering from macular degeneration.
In November 1997, the Lotmans gathered a group of preeminent vision scientists in Florida. This seminar was not structured like other meetings. The foremost retina experts from various backgrounds, surgeons, pathologists, geneticists, and neuroscientists dedicated to macula degeneration research would confer in an interactive seminar format. This broad range of expertise was one of the reasons the meeting was unusually successful. In most meetings, surgeons meet with surgeons, geneticists with geneticists, etc.
16 Pages of Notes:
A leading retina clinician said, "I haven't taken notes at meetings for the last ten years because I didn't learn anything that I did not already know, but at this meeting I took 16 pages of notes because the various disciplines of everyone there enabled me to learn many new facts."
The Florida meeting was so well received that the Macula Vision Scientific Advisory Board was established. Robert Molday, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Ophthalmology and Director of the Center for Macular Research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada is the Chairman. The Board is composed of outstanding vision scientists whose function as board members is to advise on research grants and Foundation policy.
The Foundation was awarded charitable, tax-exempt 501(C)(3) status in June, 1998.
On February 1, 1999, the Board of Scientific Advisors, after reviewing many funding requests, announced the first research grants. Four three-year grants and one grant for one year totaling $1 million were awarded. To date, grants totaling more than $14 million have been awarded to an exceptional group of vision scientists. The hope is that their interdisciplinary approach, in order to increase the opportunity of discerning the genetic links that predispose families to macular degeneration, will be successful. Scientific conferences are held every 18 months. The tenth major research conference will take place in March 2011. While these conferences illustrate the progress in understanding macular degeneration that has taken place, they also document how much remains to be done. The hope is that the interdisciplinary approach fostered by the Foundation will be of importance to both researchers and clinicians. The Karen and Herbert Lotman Foundation carry all of the administrative costs of the Foundation, therefore every dollar that you contribute goes directly to research and public education programs. Your support enhances MVRF's continued growth. MVRF looks forward to making a positive difference in the vision of the future.
Counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia; States: PA; Countries: USA
Contact the MVRF at 610-668-6705 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.