About Us


In 1986, the Pynoos and Neely families, two families affected by keratoconus, placed a small advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper seeking others interested in learning more about KC. The response was significant and they realized the demand for a support organization.

The National Keratoconus Foundation was established and produced the first edition of What is Keratoconus? A Reference Guide for Patients and their Families. This booklet has been updated and revised over the years, and has been shared, free of charge, with tens of thousands of individuals.


The NKCF appointed Catherine Warren, RN, as full-time executive director. The website was launched, the referral program was initiated, and the first newsletters were published.


NKCF became an outreach program of the Discovery Eye Foundation. Led by Drs. Tony Nesburn and Cristina Kenney and board member Jack Schoellerman, NKCF continued to provide materials and information to the public: a corneal transplant booklet was produced in English and Spanish, as well as a Spanish edition of the reference guide ¿Que is Queratocono?. NKCF took over management of the KC-Link message board and sent quarterly newsletters to a growing list of supporters.


With more than 30,000 contacts worldwide, the NKCF became a program of the Department of Ophthalmology at University of California, Irvine. Mary Prudden, JD, an experienced ophthalmology administrator was hired as Program Director. NKCF is sustained by individual donations.

Now located within the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, NKCF continues to provide support and information to the KC community. We respond to on-line inquiries or to our toll-free telephone line, 1-800-521-2524.

We host events and produce regular e-updates with information from the medical literature, research study results, and profiles of individuals living with KC. With the additional expertise available at an academic medical center, NKCF has been able to broaden its reach, promoting research, advocating, educating, and raising awareness about the experience of living with keratoconus.



NKCF sends out over 1,000 referrals to KC patients looking for eye care professionals.



65% KC patients encourage online community for support and advice.