10 Things About Kristi Pieper & Vision of Children Foundation


“You won’t know if you don’t ask”

In 1989, doctors predicted a dim future for Sam and Vivian Hardage’s son, who was born with ocular albinism type 1 (OA1), a rare, but debilitating, genetic eye disease. Ophthalmologists told them that there was “no treatment,” “no cure” and “no hope.” Very little was known about the disorder because few scientists were researching hereditary vision disorders. So, in 1991, the San Diego couple established the Vision of Children Foundation (VOC) to encourage research and support projects focused on treating and eradicating genetic vision disorders. Kristi Pieper is a VOC Advisory Board Member as well as an Event Sponsor and Event Co-Chair of “Sip To Sea, Springtime Tea 2024”.

#1 I was born and raised in beautiful La Jolla. My parents were amazing role models. Hardworking and putting others before themselves. They taught me it is better to give than to receive.


#2 I was a teenage fashion rep for JCPenney and later became a Ditto Jeans Girl.


#3 I love visiting the local deserts or the East Coast for family vacations, but lately, Italy has been calling my name.


#4 I would love to explore Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas – we have a magnificent country to view.


#5 A walk on the beach and the sound of the waves is a wonderful way to relax after a full day.

#6 Koa is a 12 ½ year old Aika/Shepard/Pit rescue. He has an old soul. Frankie is a 9-year-old rescue and keeps me on my toes!


#7 I am currently reading, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” by Matthew Perry.


#8 It is on my bucket list to ride as a passenger in a Porsche with Patrick Dempsey as my driver going full speed!


#9 Several years ago, my dear friend Vivian Hardage asked me to participate in Vision of Children. I have the greatest admiration and respect for this couple, so saying “yes” was easy. As of late, I personally have had a few sight issues. Thankfully, they can be remedied. I want to work harder and stronger for those affected by their sight at a much younger age.


#10 Vision of Children is a pioneering force in vision research, setting the stage for what we now know to be a solution to genetic vision disorders. From early, basic science research, the Foundation has evolved into an organization that has driven science to the horizon of actually restoring vision to children who cannot see. Recent studies indicate that combining the power of gene therapy and stem cell therapy can create new pathways for exciting and unusual approaches for the prevention and treatment of blindness in a variety of ophthalmic disorders.

Vision of Children Foundation
“Sip To Sea, Springtime Tea 2024”
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
11 a.m.
La Jolla Country Club
7301 High Avenue

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Esteban Villanueva