Our Christmas Appeal, which is now in its fifth year, was officially launched last month.
This year’s campaign follows Patricia Leaver’s story. Patricia received the shock diagnosis that she had age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at the age of 36, upon a routine visit to the opticians.
The mother of three, who was told she had the eyes of a 96-year-old, was then warned she was likely to lose her sight within eight weeks. Distraught and frightened, Patricia said she couldn’t even drive home from her appointment.
Now aged 52, Patricia has received more than 100 injections in her right eye and is now doing all she can to raise awareness of the condition. She also helps to raise vital funds for the Society, after the support she received from the Helpline.
Patricia said: “There was nowhere else to turn. No one knew what this devastating news was like and how scared I was. I thought that I wouldn’t see my children grow up, or worst of all ever see them smile again.
“Speaking to Beverley made me realise that even though I have this condition, there are people out there to support me and help me. She explained things and gave me hope and strength. I really believe that without the counselling service I would not be where I am today.
They were there when no one else would be.
Patricia found the Society after her daughter googled the condition. She said: “After I was diagnosed I came home and I was devastated and once my children learnt more about the condition they were devastated too. They did some research and told me there was a Society.
At first I didn’t want to get involved with a charity but I made the call and at the end of the phone was my lifeline.”
Watch Patricia’s story and support our appeal.