Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO — May 4, 2023 — Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, has selected visually impaired professional triathlete Amy Dixon as keynote speaker for its 2023 Patient Summit, to be held in Long Beach, California, June 23-24.
At the age of 22, Dixon — a former high school athlete — was diagnosed with uveitis, a rare autoimmune disease that left her legally blind. After years of steroid treatments prompted significant weight gain, Dixon took a bold step to empower herself: She began training for a triathlon and ran her first race in 2013, swimming and running tethered to a sighted female guide and competing on a tandem bike.
A five-year member of the USA Paratriathlon National Team, Dixon competed in the Tokyo Summer Paralympic Games in 2021 and is currently training for the 2024 games in Paris. She is the reigning Aquathlon World Champion, a two-time USA Paratriathlon National Champion, USA Cycling National Time Trial Champion, and a seven-time ITU Triathlon Gold Medalist. In 2017, Dixon founded Camp No Sight No Limits, the first camp for blind triathletes in the United States.
“I find that people who live with vision loss tend to spend a lot of time in their heads rather than in their bodies,” Dixon says. “At the GRF Patient Summit, I hope to share the message that there is virtually nothing we can’t do if we learn to navigate the world differently.” Dixon also plans to stress the importance of complying with treatment guidelines and taking charge of one’s own vision. “When you live with glaucoma you need to be your own chief medical officer,” she says. “By educating, supporting, and empowering people with glaucoma, GRF helps us do that.”
In addition to an elite paratriathlete, Dixon is a dedicated patient advocate and motivational speaker, spreading awareness and hope as she competes around the world. At GRF’s Glaucoma 360 event and Gala in 2021, Dixon received the Visionary Award, honoring her dedication to improving the lives of people with vision loss.
“Patients inspire and drive the work at Glaucoma Research Foundation, each and every day,” said Thomas Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “Amy is an incredible example of how important self-advocacy is for those living with glaucoma. Her story is beyond inspiring, and we are honored to have her participation at our Patient Summit this year.”
This will be the fifth year for GRF’s Glaucoma Patient Summit, which brings hundreds of patients, caregivers, and glaucoma experts together in a unique supportive community. The two-day event, to be held at the Hilton Long Beach, includes in-depth presentations and insightful panel discussions highlighting the latest treatment advances and providing practical information on living with glaucoma. For more information, visit https://glaucoma.org/summit.
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. For 45 years, 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. For more information, visit www.glaucoma.org.
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GRF's Glaucoma Patient Summit 2023