Susan Ballis, MD, and Wendy Baum, CPA, JD, Elected to Emeritus Board
March 1, 2021 – The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation (VFT) announces changes to its Board of Directors as it moves into its 15th year dedicated to helping those with low vision have the confidence and ability to achieve their dreams.
The Foundation’s mission was created and propelled forward by Susan Ballis, MD, and Wendy Baum, CPA, JD. Ballis started Vision for Tomorrow in 2006 following her daughter’s albinism diagnosis. Baum, whose son was diagnosed with aniridia near the same time, quickly joined the VFT leadership team. The duo has been the driving force behind the Foundation’s success with a passion for research and making a difference for those affected by albinism and aniridia.
As VFT moves into its 15th year, both leaders have decided to take on more advisory roles to support the Foundation’s work. The Board of Directors has honored Ballis and Baum as Emeritus Directors. Ballis will maintain her role as guidance on research and liaison within the international albinism research community.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do. VFT is the only private foundation in the United States focused on funding oculocutaneous albinism research and one of the few supporting aniridia-specific research. We’ve raised funds to support more than twenty international research studies to better understand and more effectively treat ocular complications common in albinism and aniridia,” Ballis said.
Baum added, “It has been an honor to help drive research and, at the same time, create a space to offer support and information to other families. VFT has become a community of families dedicated to making a difference for those with low vision.”
Ballis and Baum served on the Board of Directors with Jon Ballis, JD, and Rich Baum, who have both retired from the Board, and Susan Wolfe. Wolfe remains on the Board and is joined by two newly elected board members, Matthew Wolfe and Grayson Chinn.
Susan Wolfe joined the leadership team in 2015 and the Board of Directors in 2017. She is committed to navigating the research landscape to further the VFT mission.
“There is so much hope for the low vision community with growing scientific collaborations and discoveries. We are working closely with researchers and clinicians to better understand the ever-evolving findings in ophthalmology, genetics, biology, and beyond,” Susan Wolfe said.
Susan and Matthew Wolfe first learned of VFT shortly after their son was diagnosed with aniridia in 2011. Connecting with other families with low vision was a key motivator for getting involved with the Foundation.
“VFT has been so important to our family as a source of support and community with other families,” Matthew Wolfe said. “I’m excited to be able to help other families in the same way we’ve been supported through the years.”
The Foundation is excited to welcome Grayson Chinn to the Board of Directors. Chinn was diagnosed with aniridia as an infant and is the first VFT Board member to have low vision. He is also the parent of a child with low vision. Chinn’s daughter was diagnosed with aniridia as an infant in 2016.
“I’ve gained valuable strengths and attributes from the challenges I’ve faced living with a visual impairment and now being a parent to a child with aniridia,” Chinn said. “I look forward to using those skills in service to Vision for Tomorrow.”
All VFT Board of Director changes went into effect at the beginning of 2021. Please visit our updated website at visionfortomorrow.org for ongoing news or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
About Vision for Tomorrow
The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation seeks to empower people with low vision to have the confidence and ability to achieve their dreams. We envision a world where vision problems may be cured or even prevented. That is why funding is at the heart of our Foundation. Research makes it possible to better understand and more effectively treat ocular complications common in albinism and aniridia, two conditions causing low vision from birth. We also know we are stronger together and offer support and information to families affected by albinism and aniridia.
The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation depends on your generous contributions. Each dollar Vision for Tomorrow raises goes directly toward supporting research and public awareness to help improve the lives of families affected by low vision and associated ocular complications.
Please consider joining the Foundation’s efforts here.
The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation has a new address: 106 W Calendar Avenue, Suite 177, LaGrange, Illinois, 60525.