Welcome to the summer 2020 edition of our Visionaries newsletter. The past three months have been so difficult for so many, but as a nation I believe we can be proud of what we have achieved.
Personally, I’m also proud of what our team have achieved. Within days of lockdown commencing, our Insight Support Service moved face-to-face counselling sessions to telephone and our groups all went online. We also set up a virtual coffee morning which is proving particularly popular – within weeks it was fully subscribed.
The fundraising team quickly adapted to their new normal and this month we’re running a virtual fitness challenge – Steps for Sight. We want you to walk, jog or run a half or full marathon in June.
However, if a holiday sounds more appealing than a marathon, our brilliant ambassador Victoria Smurfit has you covered. She wants to raise €20,000 to help us through this difficult period. She’s giving away a three night break for two people on the Channel Islands! All you have to do is donate €5 to her online fundraiser.
Throughout the crisis we have not lost sight of our mission to find cures and treatments for sight loss. I’m delighted to report that in recent months three of our funded research teams have published new findings in scientific journals. You can read about the developments on pages four through to six.
Our team was saddened to hear of the passing of Llura Gund in March. Llura was married to Gordon Gund and together they founded Foundation Fighting Blindness in America. The couple are firm friends of Fighting Blindness and provided inspiration and support to our own founders. May she rest in peace.
I would also like to extend our condolences to Fighting Blindness member Padhraig McLaughlin on the recent loss of his father Jack McLaughlin. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who has donated, signed up for our Private Members Draw, renewed their membership, shared our content with friends, volunteered their time or completed a survey.
Your support is vital at a time of crisis and we are so grateful.
Chief Executive Officer