Our eldest daughter Bella was diagnosed with a rare genetic retinal disorder called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) in 2009. This disease is degenerative and will eventually lead to blindness over time. Bella's specific LCA was identified by the Carver lab at the University of Iowa as being caused from a mutation along the RDH12 gene. As of now, there is no known cure for LCA caused by the RDH12 gene.
In July of 2010, ourselves and three other families that have small children affected with the RDH12 form of LCA decided to join forces and start a fund called the RDH12 Fund for Sight. This Fund will raise money exclusively for Bella and other children like her with the RDH12 mutation. Our goal, our hope, and our mission is that by funneling funds toward research specific to the RDH12 gene we may hopefully find a cure before these children lose their site.
Bella is already considered legally blind. Her symptoms currently include zero peripheral vision, a lack of vision in dimly lit areas or night blindness, and a visual acuity of 20/150 in her left eye, and 20/50 in her right eye. She is extremely sensitive to bright lights and wears transition lenses to help shield her from the harmful effects of the sun which will speed up her retinal degeneration.
Bella's Buddies was created to help us fundraise, network, and basically stay in touch with everyone that has donated in the past and those who wish to donate in the future to help us find a cure.
Please join us in our quest to save Bella's vision. Donate to our fund or help participate in one of our fundraisers. We need as much help as we can get and every dollar we raise goes to Bella and the RDH12 Fund for Sight.
Mike & Maria Fiore