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Award-winning author Kristin Smedley will deliver Keynote at Glaucoma Research Foundation 2024 Patient Summit

Kristin Smedley

The sixth annual Patient Summit will bring together patients, caregivers, and vision experts for inspiration, information, and insight on living with glaucoma.

San Francisco, May 14, 2024 — Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, has selected author and patient advocate Kristin Smedley as keynote speaker for its 2024 Patient Summit, to be held in Philadelphia, PA, June 28 – 29, 2024.

Kristin Smedley is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker, trailblazer for the disability community, and mother of three children, two of whom were born blind. “Thriving Blind: Succeeding Without Sight” will be the theme of her keynote talk at the Glaucoma Patient Summit in Philadelphia. She is co-founder and CEO of a patient organization for people living with the rare eye disease that caused her two sons’ blindness, the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation. She partnered with Spark Therapeutics to help achieve the first ever FDA approved gene therapy to treat an inherited retinal disease in the United States.

Kristin has done a TEDx Talk in New York City to change perceptions of blindness. She is author of the bestselling book Thriving Blind: Stories of Real People Succeeding Without Sight and a new, award-winning children’s book, What I Can Be Is Up To Me. She is co-creator of the short film, The Greatest Equalizer, funded by Salesforce. Kristin also co-founded Thriving Blind Academy to solve the illiteracy and unemployment crisis in the blind community. Her important message is about uncovering “ability” in “disAbility.”

“We are honored to have Kristin’s participation as Keynote Speaker at our Patient Summit this year,” said Thomas Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “Kristen is an inspiring, outspoken advocate for people with vision loss and other disabilities, and she exemplifies how important self-advocacy is for those facing life challenges.”

This will be the sixth year for GRF’s Glaucoma Patient Summit, which brings hundreds of patients, caregivers, and glaucoma experts together in a unique supportive 2-day event. The 2024 Patient Summit will be held at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and will include in-depth presentations and informative panel discussions highlighting the latest treatment and research advances, along with practical information for living with glaucoma.

About Glaucoma Research Foundation

Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, the world’s second leading cause of blindness. Since 1978, GRF has worked to advance sight-saving research and provide essential educational resources for patients. It funds critical research into glaucoma treatment, vision restoration, and a cure for glaucoma. It also is the leading source of information for glaucoma patients and their families. Those affected by glaucoma turn to Glaucoma Research Foundation to understand the disease, learn more about treatments, and receive updates on new medical therapies to help prevent blindness from glaucoma.