Long Island VisionWalk Sunday at Jones Beach

The Founding Fighting Blindness will host an 5K run on Sunday at Jones Beach State Park to help fund research for millions of Americans affected with blinding retinal degenerative diseases. The 5th Annual Long Island Visionwalk aims to raise $135,000 for research that will help with treatments for several sight-stealing diseases.

“It is a fun morning at the beach for a great cause,” VisionWalk Co-Chair Karen Montagnese, of Sea Cliff, who is affected with retinitis pigmentosa, said in a statement. “While there’s currently no cure, I’m hopeful because the Foundation Fighting Blindness is funding many avenues of promising research, including breakthrough gene therapy clinical trials that have restored vision in children and young adults who were previously blind.”

One family on Long Island is dealing with this personally. The LaGuttuta family, of Farmingdale, hopes that one day their daughter Jamie will no longer be affected by degenerative diseases.

They learned in 2008 that their daughter is effected with RP. The 10-year-old child can still participle in some of her favorite activities such as dance, soccer, and band, the foundation said. They hope that enough money will be raised so that children like Jamie will continue to do the things they love the most, despite the vision loss.

Since the VisionWalk program started in 2006, more than 60,000 walkers have participated in events across the country to raise more than $18 million. Hundreds more are expected to participate on Sunday, which will also feature a disc jockey, children’s activities and refreshments. Strollers and dogs are welcome on the course.

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