What We Do
In 1989, doctors predicted a dim future for Sam and Vivian Hardage’s son, who was born with ocular albinism type 1 (OA1), a rare, but debilitating, genetic eye disease. Ophthalmologists told them that there was “no treatment,” “no cure” and “no hope.” Very little was known about the disorder because few scientists were researching hereditary vision disorders.
So, in 1991, the San Diego couple established the Vision of Children Foundation (VOC) to encourage research and support projects focused on treating and eradicating genetic vision disorders
Since that time we've been a pioneering force in vision research, setting the stage for what we now know to be a solution to genetic vision disorders. From early, basic science research, the Foundation has evolved into an organization that has driven science to the horizon of actually restoring vision to children who cannot see. Recent studies indicate that combining the power of gene therapy and stem cell therapy can create new pathways for exciting and unusual approaches for the prevention and treatment of blindness in a variety of ophthalmic disorders.
We seek out inspiring young people who have overcome their vision challenges despite being told they have limitations that may hold them back from achieving their dreams. These remarkable Vision Heroes mentor and motivate others to persevere and reach their personal goals-whatever they may be!
In line with our mission to improve the lives of visually impaired individuals and their families, VOC donates handheld video magnifiers to kids with low vision who otherwise can't afford one, with the goal of helping them see better and achieve their full potential.
Over the past two decades, we have funded groundbreaking research around the world. Research remains the surest route to a cure for hereditary vision disorders.
As a foundation dedicated to the betterment of the lives of others, providing family support has always been an integral piece of our mission. Learning how to come to terms with a diagnosis can be one of the most difficult parts of vision loss. That is why we feel it is necessary to provide answers and networks for anyone in need of such services.