Philadelphia Chapter

Contact Info

Michael Valenti, Chapter President


Chapter President's Message

Welcome to the Philly Chapter!

Philadelphia is a global hub of research and medical care for those with inherited retinal diseases, and the Foundation Fighting Blindness is proud to have a strong presence in the City of Brotherly Love. Every October over 800 walkers join in our annual VisionWalk to raise money to fund the research to find a cure for Inherited Retinal Diseases. The Philadelphia chapter alone consistently raises over $150,000 annually to support retinal research. We also host a Research Panel in the Spring where doctors and researchers on the front lines provide updates and answer questions from attendees. During the year, we have small gatherings and fundraisers hosted by members throughout the greater Philadelphia area.

As Chapter President and someone with Usher Syndrome/Retinitis Pigmentosa, my personal goal is to connect those affected with the support and resources needed. I'm always happy to help however I can. Although there a many retinal diseases that manifest themselves in unique ways, we all face similar challenges and share a common bond. 

For more information about the Philadelphia Chapter and/or local resources, please email me at

Mike Valenti
Philadelphia Chapter President

Chapter Events

  • Jan 23, 2021 EST Event

    National Chapter Vision Webinar: Gene Therapy

    This webinar will feature a discussion of the many ways gene therapies can be used to address retinal degenerative diseases as well as the latest updates on gene therapy research and clinical trials.

  • Jan 29, 2021 EST Event

    Fighting Blindness Insights Forum – January 29, 2021

    The Foundation Fighting Blindness is pleased to invite you to the upcoming Insights Forum, our quarterly conference call providing updates to the inherited retinal disease community. The focus of this call is to report progress on the Foundation’s mission-related initiatives, highlight recent developments and provide scientific and research updates.

  • Feb 28, 2021 EST Event

    Hope from Home: A United Night to Save Sight

    Hope from Home: A United Night to Save Sight is an exciting and interactive virtual experience featuring incredible entertainment, amazing auction items, and the opportunity to connect with others from the comfort of your own home.

  • Jun 12, 2021 EST Event

    Spring '21 National Virtual VisionWalk

    Participants from across the nation will join together virtually on Saturday, June 12th to show our united, unwavering commitment to the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ mission to search for treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases.

Foundation Contact

Renee Paulsell

Director, Chapter Engagemenet

+1 (417) 840-5577

Foundation Contact

Steve Sroka

Associate Director, Events

+1 (866) 782-7330