Blanche Matthias Society

Blanche Matthias

“Don’t let glaucoma blind future generations as it has blinded me.” - Blanche Matthias

The Blanche Matthias Society, named in honor of our beloved financial founder, was established to specially acknowledge bequests and donors who notify us of planned giving, which is so critical to our mission.

Blanche Matthias was at the forefront in the fight against glaucoma. Born in Chicago in 1887, by all accounts she led a spirited, action-packed life. She fearlessly traveled to the far corners of the world, ardently championed the new art and artists of her day, and was even a published poet and essayist.

When diagnosed with the loss of vision in her second eye, she was determined to help Drs. Robert Shaffer, H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., and John Hetherington find hope for new treatments for their patients. A bequest in her will helped establish the Glaucoma Research Foundation—an institution that has been a beacon of hope nationally for more than 34 years.

A Legacy of Hope

There’s a little of the indomitable spirit of Blanche Matthias in all of us—a little of that capacity to make a big difference with a simple act of personal commitment.

Over the years, bequests to the Glaucoma Research Foundation have totaled more than $14 million—a major contribution toward helping us advance a cure.

The Blanche Matthias Society was created to:

  • Honor those who choose glaucoma research and education as their personal legacy by including GRF in their will or trust.
  • Provide a way to make a significant gift to GRF that’s not possible for some during their lifetime.
  • Assure GRF will continue to lead the search for a cure and provide excellent educational materials and outreach.
  • Celebrate Blanche Matthias—and all those like her—whose first priority is finding a cure for glaucoma.

The vital work we do depends almost solely on the contributions of individuals like you. The Glaucoma Research Foundation receives no government funding and the nature of the breakthrough research we pioneer is typically not funded by risk-averse government entities.

Become a Member

Becoming a member of The Blanche Matthias Society is an easy two-step process:

1. Estate Planning. Explore various ways to contribute through your estate and find the best option for your personal circumstances. When including Glaucoma Research Foundation in your will, it is important to use the specific language provided on our website, with any changes required by your local state law. You may use this language in the preparation of your planning, or you may use a simple codicil your attorney may add to your current will.

2. Notify us. We will acknowledge your membership and you will receive all the benefits of membership, including:

  • Acknowledgment in our Annual Report
  • Acknowledgment in an edition of our Gleams newsletter
  • Invitations to all events of The Catalyst Circle, including Catalyst Receptions, President’s Teleconferences, and more

Your Own Personal Legacy

The Glaucoma Research Foundation was established by a bequest from Blanche Matthias to make a profound difference in the lives of those affected by glaucoma. She was a champion for the cure, and a catalyst for the future. Your own personal legacy can sustain her vision, and write the next chapters of this fulfilling adventure.

To notify us of your planned bequest, please contact Nancy Graydon at or 415-986-3162 ext. 231. Thank you.

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