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“Margaret and I will be supporting CERA for the rest of our lives”
CERA supporter David Knight shares why our vision research means so much to him and his wife, Margaret.
David first became aware and interested in ageing eye disease when his mother became blind with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“This had a devastating effect on the quality of her life. It robbed her central vision and left her with minimal peripheral vision, to the extent that she could barely distinguish day from night,” explains David.
As AMD has a genetic link, David realised this could one day happen to him.
To gain more insight into AMD, David and his wife Margaret decided to attend CERA’s information forums. They became increasingly impressed by the high-quality work undertaken by CERA’s researchers and the immediate impact it has on people’s lives.
At one of these events in May 2017, hosted by Professor Robyn Guymer (Head of Macular Research at CERA) they heard more about AMD research – particularly advances in wet AMD. “We were also invited to volunteer for a healthy control group in a clinical trial. I immediately put up my hand,” recallsDavid.
“I came to CERA for an initial assessment for the control group, but after an eye examination was told that I needed to be referred to an eye specialist. Then, I began to notice that the vision in my right eye was developing a distortion. When I looked at a line of traffic, the cars appeared compacted as though they had been hit by a train,” David says.
“My eye specialist confirmed the bad news; I too had AMD but unlike my mother, I had wet AMD.
“After the initial shock, I thought, fantastic, I know there’s a potential cure for this condition!”
David’s specialist recommended anti–VEGF injections. “I remembered from the forum I attended, that CERA was part of a global trial during the early development of these injections,” David says.
“Within the first month the distortion almost disappeared, and with a further two injections, the improvement has been consolidated.
“I now go for three-monthly check-ups feeling confident that if there’s any reoccurrence all I need is another injection.”
Without this treatment, within 6-12 months, David would have been legally blind in the right eye. “I feel like I’ve won the lottery!” he says.
David is now back to his healthy lifestyle, riding his bike and restoring a 1965 Minivan.
“I am so thankful and so grateful for not going through what my mother had to endure,” David says. “Margaret and I will be supporting CERA for the rest of our lives.”
Donations are vital to helping CERA’s researchers to continue their amazing work into the causes of and treatments for ageing eye diseases.