Ashkenazi Jews carry the Usher Syndrome Type 1F genetic mutation.
When both parents carry the gene, there is a
chance of the child being affected.
Usher Syndrome Type 1F is the leading cause of deaf-blindness among the Jews.
Much of the research into a cure for retinitis pigmentosa is genotype specific. When Usher 1F Collaborative was founded in December 2013, there was minimal research for type 1F. Today, we have provided significant funding to two major research labs that specialize in Usher Syndrome research. At one lab, significant progress has been made toward creating an animal model of the Usher 1F mutation with plans and a process in place to use this model to test a type of gene therapy. A second lab has achieved major progress toward achieving both gene replacement therapy and stem cell therapy using retinal cells made from patients’ own skin cells. With continued funding, both of these paths have the potential to result in a clinical trial in two to five years.
Right now, parents of children with type 1F are sitting and watching their children's vision fade while clinical trials for other Usher genotypes are offering encouragement and hope to others. Please help make hope a reality for those with type 1F.
"Fear, panic and down right anger has overtaken our family. As if being deaf and overcoming that obstacle was not enough, we have learned that our son will gradually lose his vision. This is a cruel, unfair disease. We need to find a cure. I will stop at nothing as his mother to raise awareness about Usher Syndrome type 1F."
"I have many dreams, but my main one is to be a teacher...I want to teach chemistry. Chemistry is a subject that often requires lots of visuals such as diagrams, pictures, and labs. In order to explain these visuals to the class, I need to be able to see them."
"Two years ago, I officially gave up driving altogether because I knew it was the best decision I could make for my safety and for the safety of others. While I know it is no longer safe for me to drive, I continue to struggle to accept the fact that I have given up such an important facet of my independence."
"I have so many dreams for the near future to be able to see while traveling the world, seeing and cooking my fabulous foods, being an endurance runner/hiker and seeing my future grandchildren with whatever vision I have left. Yet, I am so hopeful for a miracle treatment or a cure for Usher 1F."