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Donovan Tildesley

This year we pay tribute to Donovan Tildesley, accomplished blind Paralympic swimmer. Donovan’s career highlights include a Bronze medal at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, five Golds and one Silver medal at the 2002 IPC World Championships, 2 Silvers and one Bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, and a Bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics where he was also named flag bearer for Team Canada. In 2012, Donovan qualified and participated in his fourth Paralympic Games which were held in London.  
JAK & Janice Meyer will donate $5,000 ($1,000 per year over 5 years) in Donovan’s name to The Foundation Fighting Blindness, Canada's largest not for profit donor to researching cures for retinal diseases. The funds will be earmarked to the “Dr. Robert K Koenekoop Ocular Genetics Laboratory” for research into cures for Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) which is the eye condition affecting Donovan. 
To read more of Donovan's story, and learn how you can book him as a keynote speaker for your next event, please visit his website at 

The Foundation

“Over 1 million Canadians are living with blinding retinal eye diseases right now. Some were born blind. Others have experienced vision loss as teenagers or during adulthood. Many have been forced to sacrifice their independence; leaving life-long careers or forfeiting their driver’s license. More still have been losing sight of their loved ones, as blind spots overtake the clarity of their children’s faces. And as field of vision fades, so too can hope. 
Before long, 7 in 10 Canadians could be affected by retinal eye diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Stargardt disease, Usher syndrome, Choroideremia, Leber’s congenital amaurosis or others. AMD specifically is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50. Now is the time to fight back. 
At the Foundation Fighting Blindness, it is our mission to lead the fight against blindness by advancing retinal disease research, education and public awareness, and ultimately restore hope and sight. With the support of our donors, the Foundation Fighting Blindness has invested $30 million to support vision research across Canada, since 1974. That’s over 200 research grants that have led to over 600 new discoveries in exciting areas of study like: stem cell research, neuroprotective therapies, technological developments, pharmaceuticals and gene therapies. All research supports our goal of understanding why vision loss occurs, how it can be slowed or stopped, and how sight can be restored.” 
For more information on The Foundation Fighting Blindness please visit their website at