Vision is the best gift: CERA launches 2016 Christmas appealNovember 7, 2016
Usher Syndrome, an inherited disease that causes progressive vision and hearing loss is one of the many serious eye diseases being studied by researchers at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). This year Usher Syndrome is the focus for the Centre’s 2016 Christmas appeal.
“Our annual Christmas appeal is very important because it not only alerts the public about the ongoing scourge of eye disease, it is also when everybody has the chance to make a real difference,” Professor Jonathan Crowston, Managing Director of CERA said.
“Gifts to CERA are tax- deductable and go to research projects that can and will change lives for the better,” he said.
CERA’s 2016 Christmas appeal features Harry and Louis, two young Melbourne boys who suffer from Usher Syndrome. Their vision is deteriorating and they experience night blindness. To date there is no known treatment.
CERA Associate Professor’s Alice Pebay and Alex Hewitt are leading a research team which uses cutting-edge stem cell technology to determine how eye cells become damaged and lead to blindness. A small skin sample from a person’s forearm can be turned it into eye cells, allowing a better understanding of inherited eye diseases and testing of new drugs.
“CERA’s research gives us hope that the boys can have a brighter future, and that hope is what keeps us going,” said the boy’s mums Emily and Hollie.
“CERA needs the public’s help before this work can be turned into a cure for kids like Harry and Louis because developing techniques to safely and effectively deliver treatment takes time, resources and of course, funding,” Professor Crowston said.
Find out more about how to donate to find a treatment for Usher Syndrome