“I thought I wouldn’t see my beautiful baby grow up”

Rebecca Hawthorne and family

Rebecca McColgan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight and, although she always knew that it could damage her eyes if not managed well, she didn’t take the warnings seriously until she became pregnant.

She says, “I spent quite a few years without a care in the world, and I didn’t put as much effort into controlling my blood sugar as I should have. I was aware of the risks to my health, but I just thought it would never happen to me.”

In May 2015, after noticing changes to her vision, she was soon diagnosed with diabetic macular oedema, which affects the eyes in a similar way to wet age-related macular degeneration. She says, “I lost hope for a while, to be honest. All I thought about was my beautiful baby and not being able to see him growing up.”

But thanks to rapid treatment with lasers and injections, her vision has now stabilised and she says, “Although life has changed and I face challenges daily, I hope sharing my story encourages others to take care of themselves, and not to give up hope, no matter what.”

Read Rebecca’s story in the latest Sideview magazine, sent to Macular Society members four times a year.