Fault Lines: Former deputy mayor fights for a just cause

Ed McGovern has a pretty good track record when it comes to raising public awareness — the longtime political consultant and former deputy mayor in San Francisco was the brains behind the early campaigns to get a new baseball park built in The City. Now, he and his wife, Tina, have turned their talents to an attempt to raise money to fight Coats’ disease, a rare eye disorder affecting their youngest child, Jack.

Coats’ disease is also known as Coats’ retinitis, a condition in which there is abnormal development in the blood vessels behind the retina that can cause partial or full detachment of the retina. Coats’ disease is seen predominantly in young men and almost always affects just one eye. If it’s caught early enough, some vision can be restored — if not, a complete loss of vision can occur.

Jack McGovern has had numerous laser eye surgeries and one operation. Doctors have been able to slow the progress of the disease, but the soon-to-be 14-year-old has lost center vision in one eye.

“We’re not going to rest until he gets his eyesight back,’’ his mother, Tina, said. “Somebody needs money to head that effort.”

The McGoverns are hosting the second annual Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation golf tournament at Crystal Springs on Aug. 27. The money will go to a top pediatric retina researcher exploring the genetics of the disease.

People interested in donating can call (415) 297-5429 or e-mail the McGoverns at coatsdiseasefoundation@gmail.com.

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