Assistive Technology: Paying It Forward

Photo of Virginia EdelmanWhen Virginia Edelman woke up one morning with wet macular degeneration, her entire life changed in an instant. “It was startling to see what she had to go through,” remembers her daughter, Cathy.

Fortunately, Virginia could use assistive technology devices to continue doing the activities she loved, and – just as importantly – she had the means to afford the hefty price tags that often accompany those devices. After Virginia passed in 2022, Cathy chose to honor her mom’s legacy by helping others who might not be in that same position. In partnership with The Lighthouse’s Low Vision Clinic, she established the Virginia B. Edelman Memorial Fund to provide financial support for individuals who cannot afford to purchase these essential aids.

“Throughout my career I have seen how financial barriers prevent my patients from buying much-needed devices like electronic magnifiers. These items are not covered by insurance, but they can have a huge impact on quality of life,” says Lighthouse Chief of Clinical Services Dr. Kara Crumbliss. “Cathy saw this need and made our dreams come true with her generous gift.”

You, too, can make an impact as a philanthropic partner with The Chicago Lighthouse. Cathy encourages others considering a gift to The Lighthouse to visit for a tour. “When I saw the facility and met the staff, I was confident my gift would make a difference in the way I had hoped. My mother would be very proud.”

To schedule your visit to The Lighthouse and learn more about making a gift, contact Lora Nickels, Senior Director of Individual Giving, at or (312) 997-3643.

“After several rounds of radiation, I was left completely blind. Receiving an OrCam MyEye Pro thanks to the Virginia B. Edelman Memorial Fund has helped me live a better, more complete life. I am not as dependent on others to be my eyes, and I’m looking forward to it helping me get off my medical leave and back to my job.”
– Denisse, who received an OrCam MyEye Pro thanks to the Virginia B. Edelman Memorial Fund


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