To address cures for inherited blindness, Saving Sight and Sound has chosen to support the University of Iowa Institute for Vision Research (UI-IVR). The UI-IVR is developing treatments for all forms of genetic blindness, including conditions that are too rare for private or government funding such as Usher syndrome and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Through the end of 2020, every dollar donated to UI-IVR’s “Usher Challenge” will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10 million. Funds raised through the Usher Challenge will go directly to the laboratories and clinics pursuing cures for Usher syndrome. Further, the UI-IVR is run on a non-profit basis and has a non-commercial philosophy. Learn more about the UI-IVR and the Usher Challenge here.
There have been significant breakthroughs in research in recent years and there is more hope than ever that a cure is in sight. As recently as December of 2017, cases of childhood blindness caused by Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), another rare, inherited retinal degenerative disease (characterized by severe loss of vision at birth) were actually being reversed by new, FDA approved gene therapy. Breakthroughs, such as with LCA, provide hope that researchers are on the cusp of a cure for the Retinitis Pigmentosa caused by Usher syndrome. You can read more about these breakthroughs here.