Share the light: #theillumination
“The Illumination” tells the story of Gordon Gund, a prominent American businessman, philanthropist, sports team owner and family man who went blind at age 30 due to a genetic disease called retinitis pigmentosa.
A bout with depression followed, but Gordon eventually came to realize that blindness, while robbing him of one aspect of his life, enabled him to see things that no one else could see.
In 1971 - one year after going blind - Gordon and his wife Lulie, along with others, created the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB). At the time, science offered little hope. So Gordon and Lulie set out to create an entire field of research nearly from scratch. They did so by aggressively recruiting scientists and funding experimental research.
After decades of setbacks, FFB researchers made a major breakthrough in 2006, and were cleared to conduct clinical trials.
In joining their study, Yannick Duwé, age 8 in 2008, became the first child in the world to participate in a gene therapy clinical trial for a nonlethal disease...and the first person to have blindness reversed using gene therapy.
Yannick has since gained a kind of independence that would not have been possible before. He will attend University next year after graduating at the top of his class.
After 45 years, the journey of Gordon and Lulie Gund to find a cure for blindness can only be described as an act of love.
It's been a great year. Thank you for joining us.
If you are an organization, university or library and would like to schedule your own screening of our award-winning film, please contact Pamela Duevel, firstname.lastname@example.org.