Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, helped secure $100,000 donation to benefit non-profit, Hope For Vision, from international law firm Jones Day. This donation kicks-off Hope For Vision's 20/20 Vision Campaign to cure blinding disease by 2020. Hope For Vision's chairman and Miami native, Isaac Lidsky, who will soon become the first blind U.S. Supreme Court clerk, accepted the donation last night at Hope on the Hill, a fundraiser chaired by Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen.
Co-Chair of the Congressional Vision Caucus and long-time supporter of vision research, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen also gave remarks to more than 300 guests at Hope on the Hill in order to emphasize the great urgency to overcome blinding disease. "The annual cost to the nation due to vision loss exceeds $68 billion," she explained, "more than 100 times the annual budget of the National Eye Institute. But genetic and other therapies have shown remarkable promise; for example, researchers recently restored vision to blind patients in human clinical trials." Ros-Lehtinen proclaimed that, "the question is not whether we will cure blindness, but when."
Hope For Vision's 20/20 Vision Campaign is simple and powerful. The goal: 20/20 Vision for the millions losing sight by the year 2020 through widely available treatments and cures for blinding disease within 12 years. To this end, Hope For Vision will raise $20 million to fund research and will grow its base of supporters twenty fold.
"Hope on the Hill, and the amazing kick off of Hope For Vision's 20/20 Vision Campaign, would not have been possible without Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen," said Isaac Lidsky, chairman of Hope For Vision. Lidsky is a former childhood actor and honors graduate of Harvard Law school. Currently, Lidsky is also an associate in Jones Day's Issues and Appeals group. He will soon leave the firm to assume his role as the nation's first blind Supreme Court Clerk.
"Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has been with us from day one, over fifteen years ago, and every step of the way since. We look forward to celebrating the cures with her soon," Lidsky said. Hope For Vision's 20/20 Vision Campaign is the organization's pledge that the cures will come soon.
Founded in 2005, Hope For Vision has raised millions of dollars for the development of treatments and cures for blinding diseases, with particular focus on retinal degenerative diseases. With the support of thousands of advocates across the country, and guided by its board of Visionary Scientists, HFV distributes over 95 percent of the funds it raises to innovative researchers at leading American medical institutions. Additional information about Hope For Vision can be found at www.hopeforvision.org
Jones Day is an international law firm with 30 locations in centers of business and finance throughout the world. With more than 2,300 lawyers, including more than 400 in Europe and 200 in Asia, it ranks among the world's largest law firms. Jones Day acts as principal outside counsel to, or provides significant legal representation for, more than half of the Fortune Global 500 companies.