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Inspirational Voices from the Fighting Blindness Community

Being diagnosed with anything can be hard, and you certainly will go through a range of emotions. You are not alone. Many have been in your shoes and have dealt with their diagnosis in different ways. They feel some sense of relief when they can share their stories with others who are going through the same situation.

With our Beacons of Hope series, we share their stories in hope they can provide you comfort. Show you how they not only embrace their diagnosis, but fight for finding a treatment. Not only do we find their stories aspirational, we believe these individuals are true beacons of hope. They provide us with the light that will get us through the darkness.  

Do you have a story you'd like to share with the Fighting Blindness community? Let us know at


  • Aug 19, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    Jen’s Journey with RP

    Jen Walker was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at 14 years old and didn’t feel ready to meet others with retinal diseases until many years later. Jen now wants to connect with others and raise awareness for the fighting blindness community.

  • Aug 5, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    Hannah Dreams Big Despite Vision Loss

    Hannah has always had dreams of starting her own fashion line. And despite being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 15, she recently began an intimate company, Watson & Wilma.

  • Jul 22, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    Kailey’s Story of Hope

    13 year old Kailey Reichardt’s personal essay about her little sister Ashlyn, who was diagnosed with Leber congenital amarosis (LCA) at a young age. Kailey is a Beacon for other siblings impacted and going through similar situations.

  • Jul 10, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    My Retina Tracker, My Story

    Susan, who has retinitis pigmentosa, went through many tests in search of learning more about her eye disease. Once she enrolled in the My Retina Tracker® (MRT) testing program, Susan was provided with comprehensive results and a clear diagnosis, giving her clarity and hope.

  • Jun 21, 2019 Research Partner

    Dr. Jacque Duncan, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, on her work with the Foundation Fighting Blindness

    Dr. Jacque Duncan, UCSF Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, is currently working on therapies restoring vision for retinal degenerative diseases. Dr. Duncan has hope and optimism for the future that vision will be restored for those with retinal diseases, thanks in part by the Foundation’s work.

  • Jun 17, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    Jack Sees a Different Life after LUXTURNA

    Jack Hogan was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at only two-and-a-half years old. But with the help of connections made with the Foundation, Jack became the first-ever recipient of the FDA-approved gene therapy known as LUXTURNA.

  • Jun 3, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    Original Foundation Advocate Gertrude Weiss Celebrates 100th Birthday

    Gertrude Weiss was one of the early Foundation Fighting Blindness investors and advocates. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, Gertrude continues to live her life to the fullest. As a longtime friend, the Foundation honored Gertrude on her 100th birthday recently.

  • May 20, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    What Does “Blindness” Really Mean?

    Jenny Schisler has retinitis pigmentosa. Jenny wants to spread awareness of what having a visual impairment really means to her and others affected by retinal degenerative diseases.

  • Apr 26, 2019 Beacons of Hope

    Legally Blind Artist Paul Castle Expresses His Story through Art

    Paul Castle was diagnosed with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 16, but continued to follow his passion for art. Now Paul is a full-time artist and donates 5 percent of his art sales to the Foundation.

  • Oct 16, 2018 Beacons of Hope

    A Boy with No Boundaries

    Kai Wang was 18 months old when he was diagnosed with the condition. His parents never imagined the extraordinary journey they would take with their son when they learned he had a condition that would render him blind.