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WNY Vision Walk expands into Vision Fest

Chris Caya WBFO News

An annual fundraiser for the Foundation Fighting Blindness is expanding. Western New York Vision Walk is now known as WNY VisionFest. Event Coordinator Katie Brown says the first-ever Vision Fest will feature live music, food, drinks, and games for all ages. Brown says the Ross Eye Institute at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine in downtown Buffalo is among more than 60 organizations worldwide working with the Foundation Fighting Blindness

"The organization has driven research of inherited retinal degenerative diseases for over 48 years. So we're looking to raise some awareness of community members that are suffering from vision impairment or vision loss and their family members because they could also use some support in the local community," Brown said.

Ross Eye Institute Director of Research, Dr. Steven Fliesler says, the first successful human gene therapy trial was done for a degenerative eye disease.  
"It's an interesting fact, when you ask people what is their greatest health related fear? It's not dying of cancer. It's not dying of heart disease. It's going blind," Fliesler said.    

Retinal degenerative diseases affect more than 10 million Americans. WNY VisionFestis being hosted by Rusty Nickel Brewing Company, on Seneca Street in West Seneca Saturday from noon until 11 p.m.