Pikesville’s Mindy Caplan Named Foundation Fighting Blindness National Trustee
Columbia, Md. (December 27, 2012) – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing sight-saving research for retinal degenerative diseases, has appointed Pikesville resident Mindy Caplan as a national trustee of the organization.
“Mindy’s dedication has truly helped fuel our pursuit of vision-saving treatments and cures,” said William T. Schmidt, CEO, Foundation Fighting Blindness. “We’re thrilled to welcome her to this special group of Foundation Fighting Blindness leaders whose ongoing passion to advance retinal research is integral to our success.”
Caplan is following in the footsteps of her parents, Beverly and the late Ben Berman, who co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness in 1971 because Caplan and her sister were diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a genetic disease that gradually robs peripheral vision and can lead to blindness. Despite the challenges of vision loss, Caplan, a wife and mother of three boys, doesn’t let RP stand in her way.
As president of the Foundation's Baltimore Chapter, Caplan helps unite local families affected by retinal disease to offer support, information and resources, so people can connect with others experiencing similar challenges. She also rallies the community to raise awareness and funds for research by twice chairing the annual Baltimore 5K VisionWalk, happening on June 1 at Rash Field in the Inner Harbor. Under her leadership, the VisionWalk raised nearly $100,000 in 2012. As a committee member for the Baltimore Dining in the Dark last June, Caplan also had a hand in this successful event, which raised over $150,000 toward treatments and cures.
“Exciting progress happening in research, including Foundation-funded work taking place right here in Baltimore at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, motivates me in this new role,” says Caplan. “The Foundation Fighting Blindness is building on landmark gene therapy clinical trials that have already restored significant vision in patients, as well as other areas of cutting-edge science. These advances give me hope, and it means a lot to support the organization my parents started to help me and many others living with retinal disease.”
To interview Mindy Caplan, or to learn more about the Foundation Fighting Blindness and its research efforts, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or AGebhardt@FightBlindness.org.
About Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit driving research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans.
Since 1971, the Foundation has raised over $500 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for using this method to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight.
With a network of nearly 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.