Nonprofit startup fund
Please visit The Dry Eye Foundation website.
If you or someone close to you is struggling with the life impact of dry eye, please have them give us a call anytime at 800-484-0244.
Be a part of our mission to improve life for people with dry eye disease!
The cause: We are starting up a nonprofit educational and research foundation on behalf of people suffering from dry eye disease. The best epidemiological studies tell us that dry eye affects between 5% and 50% of the population. The numbers are staggering, and the range is baffling. Can you believe that while tens of millions suffer from this simple-sounding disease, it is still so poorly understood that we can’t even measure it consistently? Furthermore, while the stereotypical dry eye patient is middle-aged or elderly, people of all age groups are increasingly being affected by dry eye, particularly when it comes to dry eye induced by drugs or surgery. For example, 22 of the 100 best-selling drugs in America list dry eye as a side effect, and there are 16 different classes of eyedrops known to cause or worsen dry eye! Worst, technology use is exacting a heavy toll, and children suffering from dry eye symptoms are now visiting eye doctors in unprecedented numbers. All this, and yet there is no nationally active nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding and addressing patients' needs. Dry eye patients need to have a voice!
Who will benefit: Dry eye patients. Our vision is for an organization that helps patients identify their needs and priorities and works to bring about change both in collaboration with patients, and on their behalf: (1) directly, through education, local meetings, etc, (2) through raising awareness of patients' needs amongst medical professionals, the industry and the regulatory authorities in order to improve the standard of medical care and products being provided, and (3) through research that prioritizes the outcomes patients themselves want. We want to act as a communication bridge between patients and everyone who is in a position to help them.
Where the funds will go: This campaign is for immediate startup costs to propel us through our first months in existence. We have incorporated, and the work is just beginning! We promise to keep a tight rein on expenses, but we also want this organization to be thorough and professionally run from the get-go. That means we have a number legal costs (legal assistance, applications for federal and state tax exempt status, fundraising registrations where required, etc), and some administrative and technology costs. Rebecca will be funding travel to medical conferences through separate GoFundMe campaigns, like the recent GSLS conference campaign (thank you so much to all who made this possible!). One of our top priorities for 2019, by the way, is exploring and addressing the urgent need for mental health support services for dry eye disease patients suffering from constant pain.
How soon we need the funds: Now :) After we get our IRS tax-exempt determination, we will have more fundraising opportunities open to us. These first few months are when we could really use a leg up from anyone and everyone who wants to help get this effort off the ground!
Who is “We”? The founding board of directors - longtime dry eye advocate/educator Rebecca Petris (President), nonprofit foundation expert Rosalyn Owen (Treasurer), and DryEyeStories editor Aidan Moore (Secretary). We will be appointing additional directors and advisors in coming months.