Welcome to the Spring 2016 issue of Visionaries

Image of Caitriona DunneSpring is a time of change and hope. We welcome new members and supporters who have joined us on our journey to find treatments and cures for conditions causing vision loss. We welcome the extra daylight hours that bring comfort and more independence to so many of our members who are affected by night blindness. We begin new plans and projects for the year ahead, building on our strengths and acknowledging our weaknesses in 2015.

We are entering a new era in Fighting Blindness as we say goodbye to some of our valued team and welcome new staff on board. As you know Avril Daly has now moved from her role as Chief Executive with Fighting Blindness to a new position as CEO of Retina International. We also bid a fond farewell in the coming weeks to Maria Meehan, who has held the position of Research Manager with the organisation for three and a half years. Many of you will know Maria very well and I’m sure you will join us in wishing her, and Avril, the very best and thanking them sincerely for their remarkable dedication and contribution to Fighting Blindness. Although we are sad to say goodbye, we are very happy to welcome three new members of the team; Kevin Whelan who is the new CEO of Fighting Blindness, and Fionnuala Hickey and Laura Brady who join us as Research Manager and Research Officer respectively. We are also delighted to welcome Anna Moran back from maternity leave.

It has been a very promising start to the year for Fighting Blindness: the annual Sporting Gala was a huge success; the National Vision Strategy was included in a number of political party general election manifestos; we joined with many other patient groups to celebrate International Rare Disease Day; and we saw basic research funded by Fighting Blindness reach a new and exciting stage of development, all of which you can read bout in the coming pages.

As always we thank you, our members, for your on-going support and we hope you can join us at the Annual General Meeting in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin on Saturday, April 16.

Caitríona Dunne, Communications and Advocacy Executive