“We’re desperate for some miracle to happen"

Posted: Monday 23 December 2019

This Christmas it has been 20 years since Kate received the devastating news that she was losing her sight to macular degeneration and was told there was nothing that could be done.

But Kate admits that 20 years on she had hoped there would be a cure by now.

“I was expecting something to have happened by now,” she said.

“I would’ve thought by now we would have an injection, or something like that, or an operation, and you have it once, and that would clear it up.”

She added: “We’re desperate for some miracle to happen, that even if you’re catching the ones who are just coming through and giving them something which would cure it, it would be a miracle, wouldn’t it? If you could stop it in its tracks.”

Talking more about her diagnosis Kate said she was devastated and had never heard of macular disease.

She said: “I think it’s probably the most devastating thing, losing your sight, because it affects every single avenue of your life. You lose your independence you can’t see the TV, you can’t see faces. Even reading a recipe, or putting something in the microwave. Everything.

“I must admit it was just awful. Because you didn’t know what the future held, and there was no hope. Nobody had heard of it. And you think, “Why me?” But, of course, when you see now how many people are affected… the clinic used to be one day a week. It’s every day now. The clinic for macular is every single day. And every clinic is full. And there’s still people waiting.”

But she is grateful to the Macular Society for providing her with the support she needed at the time.

“Joining the Macular Society was my only lifeline,” she said. The peer support that the group offers is so important – we all support each other really. It can be difficult, but when I say to people that I’m registered blind, they’re often really surprised, and that gives them encouragement.”

Kate is keen to raise awareness of macular disease, so that one day a cure will be found an no one else will have to go through the devastation that she did.

She said: “People need to know that with research, a cure can be found. It’s so important that as many people know about macular disease as possible, so that one day, nobody will have to go through what I and so many others are going through. Nobody will have to lose their sight."

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