Tommy Salisbury is eighteen years old. Unlike many teenagers, he is making big moves in the fundraising community and working hard to be a leader in efforts to find a cure for a rare disease that he has.
Doctors diagnosed Salisbury with choroideremia at the age of five. This is a rare genetic eye disorder that almost entirely affects males. It is caused by the degeneration of the choroid and retina. The first symptom usually starts in early childhood with night blindness. For Salisbury he currently only has night blindness and lives a full life; however the disease means he will have worsening eyesight as he gets older that will slowly get worse and result in total blindness.
Salisbury started a fundraiser in 2005 called the Tommy Salisbury Fund and since then has raised over £500,000 which is the equivalent of 652,673.35 US dollars. The fundraiser has allowed for the first worldwide clinical trial for treatment of choroideremia.
Until recently, choroideremia had no treatments. But now, the first trial is in the third and final stage. So far the results have been very promising and the treatment being tested has stopped the worsening of the disease in every single man who has been in the trial!
Salisbury is not ending at his fundraising efforts though. Now that he has seen the power of fundraising and the effect it can have in promoting research for new treatments, he has decided to run at this year’s London Marathon for eye charity Fight for Sight.
Salisbury has supported people who have been promoting eye research for years, and since he is now eighteen and eligible to run himself, he wants to lead the way for treatment and a cure for his rare disease. You can help support Tommy’s marathon run here.
Tommy Salisbury says, “It’s only through research that we will find a breakthrough for my condition and others.”
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