Vision of Children Foundation (VOC) has partnered with Illumina’s new iHope Program, a philanthropic initiative aimed at identifying the genetic causes of undiagnosed rare diseases in children. Under the partnership, Illumina will provide a limited number of free whole genome sequencing (WGS) tests to VOC’s Family Network, many of whom have sought out but could not afford genetic testing. These tests analyze the entire genome of a child as well as his or her parents and investigate if genetic alterations are involved in causing the child’s vision disorder. The results may not only provide a clear diagnosis for families who have been previously frustrated by inconclusive results and failed procedures, but could also be of critical use in future clinical trials to find cures for genetic vision disorders.

VOC is a nonprofit organization that has been a driving force in funding groundbreaking research in its quest to find a cure for genetically caused eye disorders for children around the world. The nonprofit was founded by North County residents Sam and Vivian Hardage. To request an application for WGS testing contact Nancy Montejano at nancy@visionofchildren.org. For further information visit www.visionofchildren.org.