One Rye Brook family has been very committed to raising a substantial amount of money and awareness for a cause very dear to their hearts. Their 14-year old nephew, Ryan, was diagnosed with an inherited retinal disease called Stargardt's. Stargardt's is a juvenile form of macular degeneration, which causes rapid and progressive loss of vision. When you first meet Ryan, he seems like a normal teenage boy. About six years ago, however, Ryan went from having virtually perfect vision to becoming legally blind within a few short months. Today, if he is not within 2 feet of you, he cannot make out the details of your face. He is unable to watch TV unless he is standing inches from the screen. He has to have special seats in his classrooms, use a special lock on his locker and, without a magnifier, can only read from large print books. He needs to wear sunglasses every time he goes outside. He quit playing basketball, baseball and other team sports out of fear and embarrassment because, even though he was always a good athlete, he can no longer see balls coming right at him. Despite all of these challenges, Ryan is an exceptional kid. He remains a straight A student, achieved close to perfect scores on the NY state tests over the last three years, is on the honor roll, and is enrolled in every advanced academic class offered in his grade. He attends sleepaway camp, plays the trombone in the middle school band, and is a purple belt in Tae Kwan Do. His determination is amazing and inspiring.
Sadly, there is currently no cure or treatment for Ryan. And, as it stands now, there are many things Ryan may not be able to do in his lifetime that are second nature to most...like playing baseball, going to a Broadway show without sitting in the first two rows, and driving a car. But there is hope. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world's leading private source for retinal disease research funding. This organization finances critical research as well as clinical trials currently underway, designed not only to stop the progression of vision loss, but also to restore vision which had previously been lost! Discovering a cure for vision loss is possible with your support!
Please consider participating in the 7th annual Westchester/Fairfield Vision Walk and/or donating! It is the Foundation's signature fundraising event. In the past three years, "Ry's Guys", has raised over $100,000 through donations and raffle prizes! The hope is to continue raising awareness and funds necessary to knock out these retinal diseases during our lifetime. To join this team, walk with them on walk day and/or make a tax-deductible donation, please visit their personal page on the Foundation's website at: http://www.fightblindness.org/goto/slotnick.