Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Visions Conference, Washington DC

Hail to the Chiefs,

Dad and I flew to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, and spent four days in Crystal City, VA participating in and supporting the Foundation Fighting Blindness with their annual Visions Conference.

It was an EXCITING time for Dad because he learned about many new advances that have been funded by the Foundation which are having remarkable success in restoring or saving sight . . . not in the future, but right NOW!

Dad asked me to share some of these with you:

1. Gene Therapy - sight was restored in three young adults who have LCA and they can see again after being blind for almost 20 years. This gene replacement therapy is only in phase one trials, so the future holds great promise.

2. Dr. Radtke announced last week that his retinal tissue transplantation trials were successful in improving visual acuity in two adults from 20/1000 to 20/160 in one adult; and from 20/1200 to 20/400 in another.

3. Dad spoke with one individual in the encapsulated cell therapy trial where a small device is implanted in the eye and continuously provides new proteins to the retina. His visual acuity has improved in both eyes from 20/30 to 20/20 in one eye; and from 20/40 to 20/25 in the other eye. Also, a great side effect is in light adaptation time, as in when entering a dark restaurant; it has gone from 3 minutes to 30 seconds in this one person. AMAZING!

I was in heaven at the conference. There was a hot-looking Labradoodle, several good looking Yellow Labs, a frisky German Shepherd, and some lovely Golden Retreivers. There must have about 25 dogs at this conference, so I felt like a stud in a diamond mine.

On Sunday, Dad and I took a cab to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Wow, this was one BIG place, with big airplanes hanging from the ceiling. So that's how we got here . . .

We were given an escorted tour of Orville's Kitty Hawk, Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the first Ford Tri-Motor Tin Goose, a DC-3 (Dad said that he has flown in one), a 747 front end, the X-15, X-1 and the Apollo 11 capsule that went to the moon. Wow, someone flew to that "white dot" in the sky?!

We took a trolley tour around the area and saw the Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, White House, Capital Building and much more. In fact, we got off the trolley at Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was shot. For me, it was a much needed potty stop!. When you gotta go . . . .

We took the trolley to Union Station and Dad had lunch in the big hall. I was so hot that I laid on the marble floor to keep cool. We passed the Pentagon on the way back to the hotel - that is one BIG building!

The flight home seemed to take forever. Dad said that we were having to wait for thunderstorms to pass, both in DC and in Denver, but finally got home safely.

Boy, I was tired. I did not get to eat until 9 PM which was 11 PM on the clock that I was coming from!

I have heard a lot about presidents lately since I think I heard there is an election coming soon. They have a pretty cool place to do work and it was great to walk around Washington, DC.

Hail to the Chiefs, and may we all be wise in our decisions,



Princess Coral said...

Zane, the Jet Sitter!

That's so cool that you go everywhere with Dad! I want to go to the Nation's capital too!!! I've never been out of CA! Can you believe that????

Well, no food for such a long time, ... that's not so cool, though... Food! Oh, it's almost dinner time! Gotta get off PC & head home!

Ready to run for the kibbles!

Your Princess

Zane Train said...

My Princess,

Yes, it was really cool being in DC. I have seen the White House on TV a lot while Dad is watching TV and people always seem to make a big deal about it.

I felt pretty special leading Dad around. I did not see many dogs while checking out DC, but I saw lots of "hot chick dogs" while at the conference.

Of course, I was dreaming of you!

Love, Zane

Emily, Suede, and Burgess said...

Looks like you had an amazing trip, Zane. What an amazing experience for you. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

My dear Zane

Wow,you're getting to be such a big shot with all the travel. Now you've been almost all the way from the west coast to the east coast of the USA! I sure envy you in some ways but I'm glad I didn't have to put up with the long flight home. Do you remember how easy it was to fly around in the back seat of Katies little Piper Cherokee? We never had to go through security or X-rays. Say, I wonder what else besides cantalope they must have seen when you walked through the X-ray booth? Maybe that's where my missing motorcycle keys are hiding.....in your big black tummy! I've been looking for them since you left!

Dad sure seems encouraged with some of the progress they've been making in some of the programs being funded by his Foundation. What a blessing it would be if they could even restore a portion of his sight. Meanwhile, you're big grown eyes seem to be working just fine.

We've begun to re-landscape our ugly back yard slope....you know, the one we never let you play on. We've torn out all the vegetation and irrigation pipes and are redoing the whole thing...it's a big job and hopefully it will be done for you all to see next time Dad comes to beautiful sunny southern California.

Zane, remember that I read your blogs daily even though I might not get time to respond. The girls do to. So keep posting stuff so that we, and all the other readers, can keep up with the Zane Train!

Sorry that you didn't get to visit with the President and the first family while you were in DC. I think everybody back there could use some good old Laborador advice. Say,are you going to vote for McCain or Obama in November?

Give everybody a big wet lick from your real "first family" and tell them we love them. And like I always told the kids, look both ways before you cross the street!

Your puppy raiser Dad who misses you every day.


PS: Your "replacement", Sayer, says HI. He is now 10 months old and doing pretty darn well (in my humble un-biased opinion at least).

Zane Train said...

Suede and First Family,

Good to hear from both of you! Yes, Dad and I had a great time in DC and regarding my vote, I'm going with whoever Dad chooses. He has not made up his mind because he feels this process has been going on far too long. After the conventions, Dad says that he will have a better idea of who he thinks can lead the country and make decisions that will reestablish the USA as the respected world leader, not as a bully, but as a support for growth, peace and prosperity.

Yes, I recall those wonderful flights with Katie, the super pilot. Her take-offs and landings were so much smoother than these pilots do in these big planes. Katie, would you give United a call and straighten them out?

Sayer, you are so lucky. Gary is fixing up that ugly back yard and going to make it a beautiful place and probably even put you in a pool to play in! My first family sure are wonderful people and I miss them. Give them a BIG LICK for me.

Love to all, Zane