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University of Iowa News Release


UI Goes To Bat For Project 3000 At Wrigley Field May 5

A University of Iowa eye expert will be "in the lineup" Saturday, May 5 at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, to help raise awareness for Project 3000, an effort to find every person in the country with a blinding eye disease called Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).

Edwin Stone, M.D., Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will join the team effort of Chicago Cubs Charities, Cubs' first baseman Derrek Lee and his 1st Touch Foundation, and a Chicago-area family affected by LCA. The inherited, blinding eye disease strikes during infancy or early childhood and has partially blinded Lee's young daughter.

Stone, who also is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, will be interviewed on both WGN Radio and Comcast SportsNet as part of "Project 3000 Day" at Wrigley Field. Prior to the Cubs' home game against the Washington Nationals, he will take part in a pre-game ceremony welcoming the family affected by LCA. In addition, there will be two Project 3000 tables at the ballpark where fans can get fact cards on LCA, buy Project 3000 support bracelets and sign up for "Play for LCA," hosted by 1st Touch Foundation.

The "Play for LCA" program allows fans to donate to Project 3000 based on the number of home runs catcher Michael Barrett hits and the number of saves pitcher Ryan Dempster records in 2007. Funds raised by the program will be passed on and managed by the UI Foundation to help, for example, cover genetic testing costs for people with LCA who cannot cover the costs themselves.

Project 3000 refers to the number of people in the United States with LCA. It was launched when Lee and Boston Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, who also has a child with LCA, partnered with the UI. Nearly 500 Americans with LCA already are known, so 2,500 people in the nation remain to be identified.

Affected individuals will be offered testing at the UI John and Marcia Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory, directed by Stone. Through the testing service, UI experts will give people with LCA more accurate information about their disease. The eventual goal is to find a cure.

For more information about the search for people with LCA, visit and click on the Project 3000 link or call toll-free 866-495-CURE (2873).

To support Project 3000, visit

To learn more about Play for LCA or Project 3000 awareness bracelets, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660,

ADDITIONAL CONTACT:  Heather Scherber, 1st Touch Foundation, 916-212-0312 (Sacramento, Calif.)