curing coats

october 6, 2018 | 7-10 PM

Please join us for an evening of food, drinks, dancing, and good company as we fundraise for coats disease research benefiting the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute.


Our story

what is coats disease?

Coats disease is a very rare eye disease that causes the blood vessels in your eye to leak, causing retinal detachment, blindness and—in extreme cases—the loss of your eye.

Coats can be discovered when taking a photo and the resulting image includes one yellow eye and the other red. The yellow eye is the Coats Eye.

an example of what happens when taking a photo of someone with coats disease. the yellow eye is the coats eye.

Why we fundraise

Just after Christmas of 2013, our son, Sean, was diagnosed with Coats Disease. We were at his routine eye exam at Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Within moments of starting his exam, we knew something was terribly wrong. We were blessed, however, to be in a place where the doctors knew what they were looking at. Since Coats Disease is so rare, most eye doctors will never come across it in person.

We quickly went home to Maryland to seek out the best care possible for our son. Sean was seen on Monday, January 6, 2014 and was in surgery the next day.

 Sean is being treated at The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University and is getting great care. He has had seven surgeries since January 7, 2014. His eye is now stable and his eyesight has gone from 20/2000 at the time of diagnosis to 20/70! He is The Wilmer's "Miracle Case".  

This is not the first time Coats Disease has effected our family. My cousin's son also has the disease. It is unheard of to have two children from the same family diagnosed with Coats. They have yet to identify a genetic link for the disease.

2018 Update: As of July 2018, Sean continues to see his team of doctors at The Wilmer every 6 months. His vision is holding steady but we continue to watch his Coats eye as it is showing some signs of becoming lazy again.


Throughout this journey our family has come to realize that we have to give back. We have to make this disease easier to handle for the next family... and that is how the Curing Coats Fundraiser was born.

about the fundraiser

Sean's team at The Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute includes a retina specialist, Dr. Handa and ophthalmologist, Dr. Repka. They both work closely with Dr. Akrit Sodhi, who is responsible for researching a cure for Coats Disease. Before our family started the fundraiser, The Wilmer Eye Institute was not researching the disease.

We founded the fundraiser shortly after our son was diagnosed in 2014. In the ten years since the diagnosis of our cousin's son, treatment barely changed. We wanted to change that. Our hope is to make a difference for children with Coats Disease and assist a major eye institute as it works towards a cure. 

Since 2014, we have hosted a large party at our home in Clarksville, Maryland. Through the generous donations of our community—food trucks, music, photography, supplies, raffle items, etc.—we have been able to donate 100% of all donations directly to The Wilmer Eye Institute and the research of Dr. Akrit Sodhi. All $84,000+ of it!

We can't wait to host the 6th Annual Curing Coats Fundraiser this Fall and we hope to see you there. If you are interested in donating to this cause, please visit the Wilmer Eye Institute's donation page.

You may also donate by purchasing a t-shirt at the event or by emailing us to place an order:



We are so excited to fundraise for Curing Coats this fall. This year's event will feature music and dancing from a local band, Out of Order.

Adults only, please!

We will have a 60/40 raffle, food, dancing, and great company! If you would like to donate your services/talents for this evening—or know someone who would—please send us an email at

Donations can be made at the door (cash or check) or online. 

when + where

Date: Saturday, October 6th
Time: 7 - 10 PM

The Smole Residence
6646 Autumn Wind Circle
Clarksville, MD 21029

Little details

  • Adults Only

  • Donations can be made at the door or online

  • Purchase a Curing Coats Fundraiser t-shirt for $25 at the event

  • Attire: Casual (jeans, shorts, t-shirts, etc.)

  • Bring cash and/or check for the raffle

  • Street parking will be available

  • If you know someone interested in supporting the cause, bring them. The more the merrier.

Questions? Email

60/40 Raffle

Don't forget to bring cash to participate in this year's 60/40 raffle!

a big Thank you to this year's donors!

curing coats fundraiser-1-02.png

Founded in 2016 by Sean's best friend, Jack Pavlovcak, Shots for Coats has continued to amaze all of us each and every year. Jack wanted to help Sean raise funds and came up with the idea to shoot basketballs and get pledges for the amount of baskets he made. He was so successful that we took the same idea (that kicked off in Pennsylvania) and brought in Sean's local friends to run their own Shots For Coats here in Clarksville, Maryland. Jack's idea turned into over $7,100 being raised in just 2 years! It is amazing what a bunch of kids can make happen!

Shots for coats is the perfect extension of the Curing Coats Fundraiser.  If you are interested in starting your own local Shots For Coats, please email Barbi at



The Curing Coats Fundraiser benefits the Johns Hopkins



Please rsvp by oct. 1

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