February 27, 2008

2nd annual March Madness Against Blindness to benefit Kellogg research

Brendan Hepner as a toddler
Brendan Hepner

ANN ARBOR, MI – After its success last year, March Madness Against Blindness (MMAB) is back to raise awareness and funds to support research at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. This year's event will be held at Damon's Grill (3150 Boardwalk) in Ann Arbor, March 20 and 21.

Although he's a healthy five-year-old now, Brendan Hepner lost his eye to retinoblastoma when he was only nine months old. His father, Myron Hepner, is grateful to the physicians and staff at Kellogg for all they've done – and continue to do – for Brendan. Myron wanted to give back to Kellogg so he decided to take advantage of something he's always loved to do – watch the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. He "pledged" to watch all 32 games of the first round of the tournament in exchange for donations. After watching more than 24 hours of basketball over a two-day period in 2007, he received $6,000 in donations from more than 100 individuals and organizations. He is hoping to top these numbers this year.

You can donate to MMAB 2008 in one of three ways:

  1. Visit www.marchmadnessagainstblindness.com and fill out the on-line donation form.
  2. Visit Damon's and request your dining receipt go toward the fundraiser. Over the two-day event, Damon's will contribute 20 percent of all dining receipts to the fundraiser.
  3. Visit Damon's and purchase a paper basketball. During the entire month of March, Damon's will sell paper basketballs in gold ($10), silver ($5) and blue ($1). Donors can write their names on the basketballs, which then will be posted in the restaurant.

All donations from MMAB will go to Kellogg's research into eye diseases that result from the loss of essential light-sensing cells, known as rods and cones. When these cells die, either naturally or from a disease, vision is compromised. If scientists can understand this process, they may find new or more effective treatments for retinal detachments and related retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

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Written by Aimee S. Bergquist

Last Modified: Monday, 28-Mar-2016 13:26:42 EDT