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Presidents Message
FOUR DECADES OF VISION
 
"The cure is closer now than at any time in human history, now is the time finish the journey
 we started 40 years ago  to save the vision and  eyesight  of those we love..."

                                                     Helen Harris

President H.W. Bush, Helen Harris, Richard Harris, Michelle Burke

Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, Usher’s Syndrome, Batten’s Disease... unfamiliar names, except to the more than ten million men, women and children who suffer from these blinding degenerative eye diseases.

These devastating afflictions can strike anyone regardless of age. The result is always loss of sight and for many,  total blindness. We don't like to think about the possibility. Yet, it’s all too real. In an age of almost daily medical breakthroughs, children are still going blind .

Consider that an estimated:

           - 26 million people suffer from eye disease in this nation.

           - Over 50,000 people go blind each year

These are overwhelming numbers that have received little attention.

Helen Harris knows. A victim of retinitis pigmentosa, she knows all too well the helpless, hopeless feeling of having a disease that is little known, in an area of research that was all but forgotten. But she took action in 1973 and formed Retinitis Pigmentosa International, dedicated to the “preservation and restoration” of sight.

From modest beginnings, RP International has grown into an international organization. Committed to focusing world attention on eye problems, RP International promotes research, public awareness, education and human services for victims of degenerative eye diseases.

With the support of dedicated volunteers, including many entertainment and sports figures, RP International has raised close to $25 million and directly facilitated the funding of $300 million dollars of endowed eye research targeting retinal transplantation. Over 90% of all funds raised go to human service and research programs. In addition, the organization’s untiring efforts have led to a commitment from former President Bush and legislative support in the form of Appropriations Bill HR 5257, which will provide $17 million in increased research funding for the National Eye Institute.

RP International has made a difference. Within the past several years alone, great strides have been made in retinal transplantation. What was impossible to even imagine five years ago will almost certainly become a reality within the next decade. New technologies and sophisticated surgical and scientific techniques have brought us to the threshold of hope, to the day when diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa or Macular Degeneration will not carry with it a lifetime of darkness.

There are 26 million people right here in this country, 26 million people with children, with parents with husbands and wives all of whom are counting on RPI to finish the fight once and for all against blindness.  So long as those calls for help continue, we will never give up, we will never give in,  the darkness will never prevail…

And now the time has come to cross that threshold.......

  

Copyright RP International 2013
RP International P.O. Box 900 Woodland Hills, CA 91365
Tel (800) Fight-RP, Fax (818) 992-3265  Email: info@rpinternational.org Federal I.D. #95-3707483,  
RP Internatonal is a 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization (Retinitis Pigmentosa International Society for Degenerative and Allied Diseases, Inc.)
© 1997-2013 RP International & Respective Copyright Holders - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED