Retina Foundation CEO Shares Fundraising Goals to Preserve and Save Vision
World-class, patient-centric Foundation launches multigenerational giving society to yield vision-saving retinal solutions in less time right here in Dallas
DALLAS (January 27, 2023) – The Dallas-based Retina Foundation of the Southwest hosted a launch party for its new multigenerational giving society, the Rods & Cones Foresight Circle, at the home of Nancy and Steve Rogers.
A revenue source for unrestricted dollars, the Retina Foundation’s Rods & Cones Foresight Circle was introduced at three levels:
• Membership for 2 adults under 35 – $250
• Membership for 2 adults 35 and older – $500
• Family membership for up to 4 adults – $750
Scientifically, rods and cones are the receptors in the retina responsible for sight. They convert light into electrical signals which are decoded by the vision-processing center of the brain. Karl Csaky, MD, PhD, the Foundation’s chief executive and medical officer, invited guests at the launch to be the rods and cones for the Retina Foundation to help convert the Foundation’s mission and vision into accelerated solutions for diseases that rob eyesight.
The Retina Foundation is working to accelerate its world-class research efforts to make a profound impact on patient care by bringing better diagnostic and treatment solutions to the patient in less time. A global leader in advanced medical research for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Inherited Retinal Diseases and Pediatric Disorders like amblyopia, the Foundation does not charge patients. This allows research scientists and medical doctors to focus directly on patients and breakthroughs.
“Right now, the Retina Foundation is positioned to make significant impacts on population health and preserving vision for generations of families,” said Dr. Csaky. “Your financial support and leadership will allow us to move more quickly and effectively towards a future of saved and preserved vision – a clearer future for your children and grandchildren as well as greater independence for aging family members.”
An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from AMD, a complex disease with no cure that is the most common cause of vision loss for those 50 and older in the U.S. It’s estimated to cost individuals and the health care system $343 billion in visual impairment damage. In Texas alone, the number of seniors 65 and older is expected to more than double from 3.9 million in 2020 to 8.3 million by 2050.
During the Rods & Cones Foresight Circle launch, Dr. Csaky shared two main fundraising goals as part of the Foundation’s Eye on the Future campaign. The first is to close out a $2.1 million goal supporting the new AMD Stem Cell Laboratory and its director, Srinivasa Sripathi, PhD.
The second goal is to fund two endowed chairs at the Retina Foundation by raising $7 million. The endowments would cover a named chair for the AMD Stem Cell Laboratory and one for the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Laboratory. This approach removes any barriers to innovation and acceleration with endowments so doctors and scientists can focus on the patient. The foundation’s long-term goal is to endow all chairs and laboratories, sustaining research that pushes the envelope for higher stakes return by retaining and recruiting the best in the field.
Guests of the giving society launch enjoyed demonstrations and tastings of Texas-raised Wagyu Beef from Rosewood Ranches, a family-owned business that has been raising cattle in Texas for over 100 years. Rosewood’s award-winning Chef Michael Scott was joined by Chef Isaac Walker of The Bartonville Store, Chef Christian Dortch of Georgie by Curtis Stone, and Chef Luke Rogers, Director of Culinary, Madewell Hospitality, Public Taco.
Dr. Csaky also recognized volunteer leadership in attendance, including Libby Hunt Allred, 2022 Visionary Luncheon Chair; Steve and Barb Durham, 2023 Visionary Luncheon Chairs; Lou Grabowsky, Board Chair; and Laurie Dotter, Board Member and Incoming Board Chair.
Dr. Csaky said, “AMD and Inherited Retinal Diseases have genetic factors, so this is a multigenerational effort. We find better solutions faster because of generous partners like yourselves, who believe in taking a risk for a greater reward. This undertaking is crucial to achieve the level of success needed to provide significant improvement in diagnostics and treatment. We are the best – and only – option for our patients in Texas and the surrounding states.”
ABOUT THE RETINA FOUNDATION: The uniquely nimble, innovative and patient-focused model of the Retina Foundation yields better solutions that reach patients in less time in order to preserve and save vision. A global leader in advanced medical research for retinal diseases and disorders, the Retina Foundation does not charge patients. The Retina Foundation is led by Karl Csaky, MD, PhD, Chief Executive and Medical Officer, Retina Foundation of the Southwest; T. Boone Pickens Director, Molecular Ophthalmology Laboratory; and Director, Clinical Center of Innovation for AMD. Learn more at www.retinafoundation.org.
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