Hello ICAN Families,

I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during these uncertain times. The last nine months have brought unprecedented challenges for families around the world, including the families in our community. As we’ve navigated our way through the Covid-19 Pandemic, ICAN members have worked hard to continue to support one another in various ways. I’ve been happy to see the ongoing activity on our Facebook site to keep us connected and provide guidance for new families. Behind the scenes, we’ve also been helping new families around the world by connecting them with professional support staff such as Doctors, Ocularists, and Education Specialists.

Late last year, we announced that the next ICAN conference would be held in Philadelphia, PA from July 11-13, 2021. The planning team has been working hard with the Marriott Hotel Group, Philadelphia area hospitals and Corporate Kids Events to finalize the clinic, speaking sessions and fun activities for adults and children. After many hours of thought and discussion, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the conference until summer of 2022. This decision was made to ensure the safety of all of the attendees and participants at our event. The 2022 conference will still be held in Philadelphia, PA and more information will be announced in the coming months. We continue to look for volunteers to help in the planning and execution of the conference so please reach out if you are interested.

I want to thank everyone again for continuing to make the ICAN community such a special and wonderfully supportive group! I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable fall season and please check back often for updates on our Facebook group page and the soon to be updated Website!


Ryan McGrady
December 7, 2020


Scientists find gene linked to child blindness – A team of scientists, including researchers in Edinburgh, have identified genetic changes linked to coloboma, which affects around one in every 5,000 births.

A gene known as YAP1 was found not to be working in some patients, leading to the condition. The researchers hope the findings can lead to better diagnosis as well as treatments which may be able to reverse the problem.

Click here to read the full story…

You have just heard your baby has anophthalmia or microphthalmia (A/M). This is a difficult time. You may feel overwhelmed with grief and anger. You may instead be saying, the doctors must be wrong somehow. Or you may be rethinking every step of your pregnancy wondering what you did or did not do that could have caused this to happen. All of these are normal reactions to such unexpected news. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

This website was designed to help you learn more about A/M. It can help you learn what to expect in the coming days and months. We realize that many medical professionals may not have ever treated another child with A/M, which can be frustrating.

We hope the information on this website will help you as you navigate through this confusing and scary time. Please remember that is all right to ask others for help. Turn to your doctors, friends, family and other support systems who can guide you during this time.

ican (international children’s anophthalmia/microphthalmia network) is a support group made up of families and professionals, for families dealing with these issues. The support group can put you in touch with other families or medical professionals who can help. You can call 1-800-580-ican or go to the support forum link on the left of this screen to contact other families.

Resource Announcement!

website links to state agencies that offer funding for developmental disabilities

“Hello ican friends and families, I just came across this link that list all the states that offer funding for developmental disabilities. www.ddrcco.com/states.htm. You may be able to apply for funding for the ican conference. The sooner the better. You may have to search on your states page under “developmental council” I had a hard time finding the info for MASS but I did find it. I had applied for these grants/funds for previous conferences and it sure did help w/getting a family of six to Florida. I would encourage all of our ican families to apply for such grants to attend the conference. Please let us know how this works out by e-mailing ican@anophthamlia.org”

~ Margaret Cote