VisionWalk raises funds for ocular disease research

first_imgThe Notre Dame Biology Club will hold the fifth annual ND VisionWalk Sunday to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) in its efforts to find a cure for retinal degeneration and other ocular diseases.Jonathan Jou and Sara Hockney, both senior biology majors, are this year’s walk co-chairs. Jou said University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh served as the inspiration for the first ND VisionWalk in 2010.“Five years ago, there was a student named Maria Sellers, who went to visit Father Hesburgh during his office hours and found out he suffers from retinal degeneration,” Jou said. “She started [ND] VisionWalk [after] speaking to Dr. David Hyde, who does retinal regeneration research.”Retinal degeneration occurs when cells in the back of the eye start to die, and gradually cause loss of all central vision, Hockney said.The event is a five-kilometer walk beginning at the Irish Green, where participants can purchase t-shirts and sunglasses and participate in a silent auction prior to the walk, Hockney said.“Our big seller [in the silent auction] every year is a Notre Dame football helmet,” Jou said.All proceeds from the event go to the FFB, which supports VisionWalks all over the country, Hockney said.The FFB’s mission is to “drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by … the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases,” according to its website.Last year, approximately 200 people, many of whom were residents of the surrounding South Bend community, participated in the event, Hockney said. The co-chairs said they set a course that winds through campus to offer a view of campus for visiting participants.“A lot of people are coming who are not on campus very much [and] who want to go through classic Notre Dame areas,” Hockney said.The past four walks have been successful, and last year’s event raised about $10,000, Jou said. This year, the co-chairmen said they hope to raise at least $13,000.Jou and Hockney have been involved in the event for the past few years and assuming the roles of co-chairmen was very important to them.“Research [in retinal degeneration] is making progress, but [this event] is about raising awareness and getting people involved in a cause you care about,” Hockney, whose grandmother suffers from retinal degeneration, said.“I thought [ND VisionWalk] was a way to get involved with doing things now that are going to make a difference,” she said.Similarly, Jou said the ND VisionWalk allows him to make a bigger, immediate contribution to the medical research field.“It was a way to give back to research field,” he said. “Science is trending toward philanthropic funding. I think that events like these are becoming more and more important and will carry more weight in the future.”Tags: Foundation Fighting Blindness, Macular Degeneration, VisionWalklast_img read more

Sammy Harold Brown

first_imgOur town lost a longtime citizen and friend, “Sammy” Harold Brown, age 71, who was called home late Tuesday, April 25. He was born in Edmonton, Kentucky, the son of the late James and Evelyn (Jessee) Brown on December 20, 1945. In his early years, he grew up in Kentucky, and around 6th grade the family moved to Indiana. He attended Sand Creek and then onto Versailles, graduating from there.After high school he became employed at Batesville Casket Company. He worked his entire career there, giving 45 years. As life began to move on, he met the love of his life Deborah Ann Forwalt at the former Dunbar and Bultman restaurant, and he married her on November 20, 1971 and built a family with her over the last 45 plus years. They built a home in between Napoleon and Batesville and raised 4 boys and 1 daughter. Since retirement he and Debbie had built a new home in the town of Osgood. To say life was busy and blessed would be an understatement; his love for his children and grandchildren was very strong. His heart ached last summer with the passing of his son Bret, a tremendous loss.His involvement in different organizations was a commitment he had made; he was a proud member of the Osgood Legion, Eagles of Aurora, and American Legion Riders of Ripley County. He had a strong faith and attended Cedar Creek Community Church.Sam fought sickness for the last 5 years, but in February of 2016 began his toughest fight. No one here can say he lost the fight, merely it was his time. His greatest enjoyment of fun was riding his motorcycle! Sam loved to tease and aggravate all of his grandchildren; they were the greatest gifts he ever received!He was preceded in death by his parents, son Bret, and sister Betty Brown. He is survived by wife Debbie of Osgood, sons Chad Edward and Mark Alan (Vanessa) both of Osgood, son Brad Lee of Columbus, daughter April McQueen of Versailles, brother J. C. (Carolyn) Brown of Osgood, and sister Becky (Ron) Sutton of Holton, along with 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. A visitation will be at Neal’s Funeral Home in Osgood on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. The funeral service will also be at Neal’s Funeral Home on Friday, April 28, 2017 at 11 a.m., with doors opening at 9 a.m., followed by burial at New Marion Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials are made out to the New Marion Cemetery in care of the funeral home. Services entrusted to Neal’s Funeral Home. www.nealsfuneralhome.netlast_img read more