MVRF hosts SupportSightSM Seminars throughout the country. Each seminar is free of charge, open to the public, and draws an average of 200-plus participants (public seminar). The seminars are led by locally-based retina specialists, low vision experts and researchers who provide information on the latest research findings and low vision techniques. Over the past decade, more than 37,000 people have participated in the program. SupportSightSM Seminars reach thousands directly each year – and are also preserved digitally and made available to an even wider audience online via social media. We also convene mini-session seminars in partnership with senior living communities.
A Spotlight on an MVRF Champion
Elvina Wilson has single-handedly worked with us to bring the SupportSightSM Program to her hometown of Delran, NJ. She has championed the effort to organize and promote this educational seminar. The seminar took place in June and was a resounding success thanks to her efforts. If you missed it click here and watch the video of this amazing seminar and many more!
“I attended a SupportSightSM seminar last year in Delaware and I was so glad that I traveled the 50 miles to attend the presentation. It was such a worthwhile event! I consider macular degeneration to be a mysterious and frightening eye condition. After struggling with it for over 20 years, it was so helpful to gain information about it and the advancements in treatment available today.”
We recently had the chance to sit down with Elvina and here’s what she had to say…
MVRF: Describe what the experience was like for you.
Elvina: I was in a total afterglow when the event was finished. I was delighted that the people buzzing around me were all happy to have been a part of the event.
MVRF: Since you know first-hand what it takes to plan and execute a SupportSightSM seminar, what impact do you think you’ve now made on those who went to the event?
Elvina: I wanted to be able to extend to others all the information that I had received over the years. A lot of people don’t know that anything is out there to help them. I wanted to be able to spread that information in the hopes that if it helps just one, if one person gets it, the whole thing was worthwhile.
MVRF: What advice can you give to those who attended the event and to any and all others living with AMD?
Elvina: You have to be your own advocate, which means more than just going to your doctor. Make sure you do go to the doctor with questions, but make sure you reach out to other organizations that can help you. MVRF brings the information, the doctors and the companies with low vision tools. We had this event for a reason. They provide additional information to make your life better and help you cope with what’s happening. These organizations help us deal with our fear, and any organization that can help me cope better with it, puts me in a better place. That was why I was so adamant about bringing you [MVRF] to the people in my community.
MVRF: Now that your hard work and dedication has come to fruition: what does the future hold for you?
Elvina: When I received my diagnosis I asked myself. What are you going to do? I gave myself a choice, and I decided to pick myself up, dust myself off and live my life. I figured out what my disabilities are, admitted it to myself and dealt with it. Now, I’ve turned into quite a big mouth for people struggling with AMD in order to point them in the right direction of helpful information. I considered it my honor to bring you all in and I felt like you represented me and my personal struggle and that was what I wanted to bring to the Township. I know there are others out there struggling with this as well. Because of that, I want to continue to include MVRF in my community because your organization can keep assisting the members of my beloved community who are still struggling with AMD.
The SupportSightSM Seminars are so valuable for people with macular degeneration because they get such a full program of information at one time. Not only do they learn the latest about research and treatment, but learn about low vision, helpful technology and magnification devices and encouraging local resources that can take them to the next step in adjustment.
Douglas A. Yingling
Executive Director, Center for Vision Loss
MVRF also convenes mini education sessions in partnership with senior living communities which are are a modified version of our SupportSightSM Seminars. These shorter, more condensed seminars are perfect for retirement communities and plug into the health and wellness curriculum that is offered to residents.
If you reside at a retirement community that may be interested in hosting a SupportSightSM program, please contact Lynn Rinaldi, SupportSightSM program manager, at Lynn@mvrf.org or 1.866.4MACULA.
Our SupportSightSM Program is completely underwritten thanks to our generous sponsors: