Nov 22, 2021

Racing for a Reason

DIY Campaign Success Stories

Sean Teare has completed a marathon and a triathlon as DIY fundraisers for the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

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Sean running in the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sean running in the Marine Corps Marathon with the U.S. Capitol behind him.

52-year-old Sean Teare never had any issues with his vision until he reached his 40s. Even then, all he thought he needed was a pair of reading glasses, so he made an appointment to see an optometrist. His optometrist immediately noted Sean’s eyes had a lot of sun damage, and after running further tests, she diagnosed him with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

At the time, Sean had never even heard of AMD, so the news was completely shocking to him. But knowing he was quite young to be diagnosed with this condition, Sean felt compelled to learn more about AMD and take action to help others how he was able. After doing some research online, Sean came across the Foundation Fighting Blindness and was immediately impressed by the organization’s work for AMD and other retinal diseases.

A few years after his initial diagnosis in 2017, Sean decided to create a DIY fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the Foundation by running in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. and Arlington, Virginia. Sean reached out to friends and family through emails and shared his diagnosis and his involvement with the Foundation, and the importance of fundraising. Sean raised over $8,000, and he believes that part of his success was because many donors were able to get charitable giving matching through their employers.

Sean running in the Buzzard's Bay Triathlon

Sean running in the Buzzard’s Bay Triathlon.

“I did have some reservations about sharing my diagnosis at first,” says Sean. “I wasn’t sure how public I should be about it and didn’t know how people would react. But I’ve quickly realized when you get your story out there, it’s an opportunity to educate, and it may even help others to take care of their eyes better, too.”

Then more recently, in September 2021, Sean completed another DIY fundraiser by participating in a local triathlon near his home in Duxbury, Massachusetts, called the Buzzard’s Bay Triathlon, where he raised over $3,900 for the Foundation.

“It’s a lot of fun, and I feel good about the money I’ve raised,” says Sean. “Doing DIY fundraisers like these are a great combination of providing a goal to strive for physically and helping to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation.”

As a result of creating these DIY fundraisers, Sean has now taken on the role of vice president for the Foundation’s Boston Chapter. Sean’s diagnosis with AMD has been a powerful reminder to seize the day and cherish every moment.

“If I do one day lose my sight, I want to know I did everything I could to make an impact and help find treatments and possibly a cure for AMD and other inherited retinal diseases as well,” says Sean. “It’s really rewarding to be involved with the Foundation.”

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