Membership Terms and Conditions

This is a binding agreement between you, the person joining our online support group, herinafter identified as “You” or “Your” and The Corneal Dystrophy Foundation, herinafter identified as “Foundation”

Please carefully read the following.  We describe here what it is and does. Your membership  is limited by the terms and conditions referred to in these statements.  After you read these terms and conditions, please decide whether you acknowledge these statements and agree with the limitations, terms, and conditions.  If you do so acknowledge and agree, then you must indicate your decision by clicking on the appropriate button when you return to the Information form. 

Please note that, because the message board resides on Groups.io’s servers and operates in part through Groups.io’s web site, you are subject to Groups.io’s Terms of Service in addition to our Terms and Conditions.  In all cases where the essence of the two organizations’ rules is the same, albeit expressed differently, Groups.io’s rule is the prevailing rule. 

Overview

This is a support group providing information for people affected by corneal dystrophies, both those suffering with it and those whose loved ones are suffering with it.  Members provide each other with suggestions and opinions covering broad areas of this disease, an area as broad as the experience of its' members.  This is a forum for you and the other members to share experiences and opinions, build relationships, find doctors, and help yourself with the disease. 

We have members in all of the United States of America and over 100 other countries.  We founded our first message board in 1999.  We are an integral part of Foundation and are connected only to these entities:

Foundation and this online support group are connected with no other group, association or entity.

Fuchs’ Friends does not provide medical advice, but it does permit members to share medical information, such as the medical advice their doctors prescribe, and does permit members to provide positive reviews of their doctors.  Because members share with others in this forum their medical histories and related information, and only that information that they want to share, Fuchs’ Friends does not comply with any provision of the federal law known as HIPAA, such as its' confidentiality provisions.  Such sharing of information must be done on the Fuchs' Friends' message board and not strictly in private communications between members. Only the information you post will be made available to the members.  Fuchs’ Friends discourages negative doctor reviews or 'doctor bashing.'  We find it much more constructive and useful to post the names of doctors whose patients attest to their skill and manner and just not mention the others. We feel that either peer pressure or word of mouth by other sources will perform market magic.

More formally, the group is a part of Foundation, which is an IRS 501(c)(3) approved Tax Exempt Charity, with the federal employer identification number (EIN) of 20-1803239.  The Foundation is a California Nonprofit Corporation.  The Foundation depends heavily upon contributions from its' members, as the Foundation charges you and the other members no fee to join or belong to Fuchs’ Friends.  (You will find information below about contributing.)  The only financial charge you must pay is what you decide to pay for your computer, for your access to the internet and for your ongoing use of the internet.  Those charges you pay to others, not Fuchs’ Friends or the Foundation. While Fuchs’ Friends imposes no financial burden of its own, it does require its members to conduct themselves in accord with these terms and conditions.

The groups’ moderators enforce these terms and conditions more strictly than not.  If you believe someone is not abiding by them, you should contact a moderator as soon as you think it is reasonable.  Almost everyone who joins Fuchs’ Friends does so at a time when they are frightened, they are groping for information and advice, and they express their fears and do their searching with varying amounts of tact and patience.  In such a state, new members may need directions and advice repeated and reworded.  Even members who have settled in to their use of this forum may encounter something that throws them off, and we all have to accommodate their bumpy return to normalcy.  In this light, the moderators enforce these terms and conditions.

Medical Advice Guidelines

We, as individual members and as a group, do not give medical advice. If you are a Medical Doctor qualified in the subject in question you may offer advice only if you identify yourself as a medical professional in the body of the message.  We do relate to each other our individual experiences and opinions.  As a member, you should not treat, medicate or use “alternative therapies” on yourself using information from Fuchs’ Friends or any other source without consulting your doctor about them.  You agree that you will receive no medical advice from Fuchs’ Friends, and that you will consult a licensed medical professional about your choice of medical treatment, should you require any, and rely on such consultation notwithstanding any information you acquire through or because of Fuchs’ Friends.

We attempt to verify the truthfulness of the statements that applicants make about who they are, what they do, and what relationship Corneal Dystrophy has to their lives.  We are not always successful.  By clicking on the button that indicates your agreement, you represent that all of the information you have given in support of your application is true and accurate and that you have withheld no information in response to the questions about yourself, your occupation, or your relationship to Corneal Dystrophy.

Internet Access

We provide support only through the internet and through no other method. 

Changes to these statements, terms, and conditions

You acknowledge that, as Foundation may change these statements, terms and conditions from time to time, you agree that  Foundation may make them by notifying all active members by a Special Notice sent by email to each email address of an active member of this online support group and by posting the updated terms and conditions on this Message Board.  If you or any other member declines those changes, you or they must unsubscribe from the group.  You agree that you do not need any other notice and that your continued use of this online support group will be your expression of acceptance of the updated statements, terms, and conditions.  You reserve the right to unsubscribe and resign from this group at any time for any reason or no reason.

Copyright and other limitations on use

©Copyright 2017 - The Corneal Dystrophy Foundation.  All rights reserved.  You acknowledge that no part of  Foundation web site or its data, whatever the source, or any information you receive in relation to your membership in Fuchs’ Friends, may, for commercial, profit-making or other non-personal purposes, be reproduced in any form, or stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted or distributed in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written or electronic permission of Foundation, a California Nonprofit Corporation.  You agree that the message board is for the private, personal use of members and is not available to the public under any circumstances.  You agree that you will not provide anyone, who is not a member , with any member’s email address or other information, with Members’ Only URLs (web addresses) or duplication of any Foundation web page.

You acknowledge the claims by Foundation that it is a non-profit organization that may and will not engage in any political issue, that it has an international membership of varying religious beliefs, and that its fundamental goals are to focus on a mission of providing and sharing information about the human eye, to support its members in learning about corneal conditions of the eye, and to provide a comfortable experience for all who desire such information and support; therefore you agree that you will post no message on the Message Board and will not send any message to any that touches upon any political or religious topic.

Some claim that using all capitals in posting a message makes a post easier to read. Our members disagree.  On the internet, all caps is considered shouting. The moderators can  provide you with tutorials on other methods of increasing readability.  Therefore, please refrain from posting messages in all capital letters.

You agree that you will post no chain letter, joke or materials from outside the group.   You agree that you will direct any virus warnings to the moderators.

You agree that the moderators may, among other measures they may select from time to time, to further the interests of all members:

  • Delete any post or message they consider inappropriate, offensive, or detrimental to the best interests of the group;
  • Privately email any member requesting that the person refrain from actions and postings that are considered by the moderators to be contrary to or inconsistent with the best interests of the group;
  • Place any member on a Moderated status; and
  • Ban any member who fails to heed the advice or warning of the moderators.

You agree that any decision made by the moderators is not subject to appeal or negotiation.

Member Email and other uniquely identifying information, Privacy and Harassment Guidelines

In all cases of message etiquette, you agree to be guided by RFC1855, which is the definitive document on Netiquette Guidelines from The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).  You can click on the RFC above to read the original document.  You agree that the moderators may use the IETF, among other standards, to evaluate your continuing membership.

You agree that you will not set your Message Board Delivery Status to No Email.  You agree that the minimum acceptable delivery status you may set is Special Notices. If you set your delivery status to No Email, you forfeit your right of access to this message board.

Fuchs’ Friends forbids you and all of its members, and any groups of members, to bully or harass any other member or group in any way; you agree not to use obscene or profane language, shouting (Internet shouting is defined as using words in all Capital letters and font much larger than normal) or other means of intentionally disturbing a message recipient.  Any recipient who feels he or she has been so treated are required to email the moderators with their complaint, describing the issue and being prepared to provide all conversations (email, postal and verbal) in writing to the moderators who will review the material and take any action they deem necessary.  You agree to be bound by any such decision.

Fuchs’ Friends discourages members from sharing phone numbers and other uniquely identifying information through their postings because the postings may be made available to strangers in contradiction of these rules, and Fuchs' Friends has no way of retrieving unlicensed disclosure of such information.

Commercial “signatures”, offers, solicitations and other off subject content is strictly forbidden and will cause messages to be rejected and the originator to possibly be removed from membership.

Fuchs’ Friends’ message board was envisioned as an ongoing information repository for any knowledge about corneal dystrophies that might be gathered.  Therefore we strongly encourage all members to discuss anything pertaining to corneal dystrophies, new procedures, corneal specialists, etc “on the message board” rather than in person to person email and other communication that does not make information available to all current and future members.

You agree to respect the privacy of other members; you agree not to use any other member's email address or other uniquely identifying information without that person’s express permission, for any purpose outside the group.

If any member is found to have misused another member's email address or other uniquely identifying information in such a manner, the offending member may be warned, "moderated" in their postings, have their membership suspended for a period, or even banned.

You agree, that if you find that your email address has been used for any improper purpose, you will send an email message to the Fuchs' Friends moderators at

FuchsFriends+owner@groups.io

 with details and cooperate with their investigation into the matter. The moderators of Fuchs' Friends will make a decision as to what action to take, and such decision is not subject to appeal.

You hereby authorize the moderators of Fuchs’ Friends, and those acting on their behalf, to send you any private message from time to time without further permission.  In any event that a moderator decides to call to a member’s attention any posting or other conduct that appears to violate these terms and conditions, the moderator will endeavor to provide a copy of each such email to all other moderators.

Legal Notice – limitation of liability

You acknowledge on your behalf, and on behalf of each person for whom you care, that Fuchs’ Friends provides only on-line information for communication and support purposes, and that it does not convey medical advice.   You agree that the information you receive by and through Fuchs’ Friends is not intended to replace, supplant, or augment, and does not replace, supplant, or augment, your own consultation with an eye-care professional regarding your own medical care or that of anyone for whom are caring. 

You hereby agree that Fuchs’ Friends and Foundation, and their respective moderators, officers, directors, employees, agents and volunteers, are not liable for any injury or damage you suffer in relation to your membership in Fuchs’ Friends and that anyone suffers to whom you provide data you received from Fuchs’ Friends, and you hereby release each and every one of them.  In any event that Fuchs’ Friends or Foundation, or any of their respective moderators, officers, directors, employees, agents or volunteers is found liable for any harm suffered by you or anyone for whom you care, you agree that your exclusive remedy will be to be relieved permanently of your membership in Fuchs’ Friends and all your obligations related to it, excluding the provisions related to membership privacy and copyright.

This website contains downloadable materials as well as links to external sites. Foundation is not responsible for, and has no control over, the content of such downloadable materials or external sites. You understand that Foundation cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files or software of any kind, or from any source, available for downloading through this website, will be free of infection or viruses, worms, Trojan Horses or other code or defects that manifest contaminating or destructive properties.

In order to remain as a member of Fuchs' Friends, you hereby agree to these Terms and Conditions.

From time to time we may change or update these Terms and Conditions.  If we do so, we will inform you about the change and where to find a copy of the update Terms and Conditions.  It is your responsibility to review the updated document.  If you do not agree with the updated document your recourse is to unsubscribe from Fuchs’ Friends otherwise you are assumed to have implicitly agreed to the updated document.

You may wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation to support the work we do.  With respect to any contribution you make to Foundation, you can list it on your US IRS Form 1040 Tax Schedule A under Charitable Contributions. Consult your individual State’s Tax Authority to determine if you may also take the deduction on your state income tax, if there is one.  Please save your donation receipts from The Corneal Dystrophy Foundation as proof of charitable contributions.  Please remember that membership is free in Fuchs’ Friends, and no donation is required to join or to continue membership.

Please close this window and return to the Informational Form where you must click the Agree check box to proceed.