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Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung donates 300 Million Won for retinal disease treatment development alongside her father

Girls’ Generation singer and actress, Choi Sooyoung, has contributed to the development of treatment for genetic retinal diseases, led by Professor Park Tae-Kwan at Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital’s ophthalmology department.

Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital revealed that Choi Sooyoung and members of the Vision Restoration Movement Headquarters donated 300 million won for domestic research on therapies for visual impairment caused by retinal diseases on the 18th.

Genetic retinal diseases are rare conditions caused by genetic abnormalities that lead to symptoms such as night blindness and tunnel vision from a young age. Some cases can result in complete blindness. Currently, there are over 250 known genetic factors related to retinal diseases causing blindness, and an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 patients are affected in Korea. Once vision deteriorates, recovery is difficult, and there is still no fundamental treatment. Early detection through regular check-ups is the only way to protect vision.

Recently, Choi Sooyoung established the first-ever patient investment fund (Retina1) in Korea to support the development of therapies for genetic retinal diseases. Subsequently, she joined members of the Vision Restoration Movement Headquarters to donate funds to “OligoNgene pharmaceutical Co, Ltd.” OligoNgene is a company established by Professor Park Tae-Kwan from Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital’s ophthalmology department, aiming to develop therapies for genetic retinal diseases based on retinal organoid technology.

The “Vision Restoration Movement Headquarters” is the largest domestic organization for patients with genetic retinal diseases, initiated by Choi Jung-Nam, Choi Sooyoung’s father, in the early 2000s. Choi Sooyoung has been the ambassador for the genetic retinal disease patient group “Vision Restoration Movement Headquarters” since 2012. Over the past 10 years, she has organized an annual fundraising event called “Biming Effect,” donating the proceeds and contributions to rare eye disease-related research.

Choi Sooyoung expressed, “Through this patient investment fund campaign, patients have shown their urgent desire for the development of domestic researchers’ therapies. I am sincerely pleased to contribute to meaningful activities that will bring significant changes to patients and acknowledge the efforts of researchers working to advance domestic research on rare disease therapies.”

Professor Park Tae-Kwan mentioned, “The establishment of this patient investment fund marks a significant attempt to open a new chapter in domestic retinal disease therapy research.” He added, “This will be a meaningful milestone in accelerating efforts to develop innovative therapies that can change the lives of patients suffering from rare diseases.”

In the past, Choi Sooyoung revealed her father’s struggle with retinal disease on SBS’s ‘Healing Camp.’

Author Nat.O
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