The TinnitusFree Foundation is a fundraising and campaigning institute that aims to increase the search for a cure, and awareness and prevention.
Tinnitus (or ringing in the ears) affects up to 15% percent of the world population. 20% of those with tinnitus are severely disabled, that is 3% of the total population. 1 in 100 patients attempts suicide. The number of young people with tinnitus has doubled in recent years, mainly due to wearing in-ear buds and exposure to noise in nightlife, festivals and concerts. Scientific research on tinnitus is still in its infancy. The exact cause of tinnitus is currently unknown. There is no known cure – but there are hundreds of deceptive claims.
We want to provide strong leadership in innovative fundraising for tinnitus. Musicians are the largest group of tinnitus sufferers and will be a driving force behind TinnitusFree. We want to bring healthcare professionals, the medical industry and politicians together to facilitate research on tinnitus, develop education, strengthen prevention, and eventually bring about a cure.
The TinnitusFree Foundation is steered by a board of five experienced governors:
Mr. Auke Klaver (Health care CEO/CFO with 25-years' experience), Chairman
Mr. Gerrit te Spenke (formerly Tax Attorney at KPMG, Executive Secretary)
Mr. Frits Heijman (Chartered Accountant and IT-Auditor), Treasurer
Prof. Dirk de Ridder (MD PhD, Neurological Foundation Chair in Neurosurgery, Dunedin School of Medicine, New Zealand), Board Member
Mr. Wiebo Vaartjes (formerly CEO at TCL Entertainment Solutions, formerly Executive Vice President and CEO at Philips Lifestyle Entertainment), Board Member
The board has appointed Frank van Hoorn from Van Hoorn Company in charge of day-to-day management, fundraising and recruitment.