Patient Story

The Phyllis G. & William B. Snyder Legacy Society

Inherited Eye Diseases October 10, 2016

Nearly seventy-two years ago, Phyllis Snyder’s mother, Rose Lee Gunter, was misdiagnosed as having glaucoma and incorrectly treated by a “horse and buggy” doctor. Fortunately, technology has come a very long way since that time. Researchers at the Retina Foundation use advanced testing equipment that is able to quickly, painlessly, and accurately test patients’ visual acuity, visual field and night blindness.

Thanks to progress in research and technology over the past several decades and a more refined understanding of how inherited eye diseases work, Dr. David Birch, Director of the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Lab at the Retina Foundation, correctly diagnosed Phyllis as being a carrier for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP); allowing her family to finally understand Phyllis’s true eye condition.

Recently, Dr. Birch, in collaboration with Dr. Stephen Daiger from UT-Houston, identified the mutation in Phyllis’s RPGR gene. The Retina Foundation also tested all members of Phyllis’s family and found that one of her and Bill’s four children has X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. XLRP causes significant vision loss and sometimes results in complete blindness. Sons have a 50 percent chance of having XLRP if their mother is a carrier.

The Snyders have hope that the Retina Foundation of the Southwest will continue advancing research, including genetic trials for XLRP. The couple has left a legacy gift in their will to support our work.

Plan to Give Back: Join our Legacy Society

To honor the Snyders for their life-long contribution to the Retina Foundation our legacy society is named The Phyllis G. & William B. Snyder Legacy Society. To learn more about the advantages of making a legacy gift to the Retina Foundation, please contact Amy Lobner, Development Manager at 214.363.3911, ext. 102 or

A legacy gift to the Retina Foundation will help ensure that breakthroughs in the treatment and restoration of vision loss continue beyond your lifetime. It is a simple way to create a lasting personal legacy that will impact lives for future generations to come.

Learn More

The Phyllis G. & William B. Snyder Legacy Society

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