Alessandro Iannaccone, MD, MS, FARVO, professor of ophthalmology and Director of the Center for Retinal Degenerations and Ophthalmic Genetic Diseases participated in several fundraisers over the weekend to raise awareness about inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). Both the events were held virtually this year, so participants gathered impromptu wherever they saw fit wearing event gear.
Iannaccone served as Duke Eye Center's Team Captain for the Foundation Fighting Blindness Triangle VisionWalk on June 12th. Participants from across the nation joined together to show their commitment to the Foundation Fighting Blindness' mission: to find treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases. As the event was held virtually this year, attendees participated by taking walks around their neighborhoods, having family room dance parties, or hosting a team hang-out. Teams were able to access opening ceremonies, videos from walk teams across the country, sponsor recognition, VisionWalk photos, entertainment, and more all online. He was joined by Duke neuro-ophthalmologist Mays Dairi, MD and ophthalmic photographer, CPT, Christiaan Lopez-Miro.
Iannaccone also supported Team CHM in the Million Dollar Bike Race to benefit the Choroideremia Research Foundation. Choroideremia (CHM) is an X-linked inherited retinal disorder (IRD) that causes progressive vision loss, that can ultimately lead to complete blindness. CHM is considered a rare disease because it only affects an estimated 1 in 50,000 individuals. Currently, there are no treatment options or a cure for CHM. As an IRD specialist at Duke Eye Center, he is committed to contributing to improve the care of CHM patients not only through his work as a doctor and a researcher, but also as a fundraiser to help the Choroideremia Research Foundation reach its funding objectives and be able to support even more research to find new effective treatments and cures for CHM. Donations to this cause will help to fund research and education to help put an end to the vision loss caused by CHM. Mr. Neal Bench, the President of the Choroideremia Research Foundation (pictured in yellow) joined Dr. Iannaccone on his stationary bike!