A clear night and a sky full of stars. It’s something those with excellent vision might take for granted, something we all expect to be able to see as the sun sets each night. But for thousands of individuals struggling with vision loss, like Kym’s mom, Betty, that expectation isn’t possible.
After struggling with vision issues for more than 20 years, Betty was eventually diagnosed with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is a disease that progressively causes blindness, primarily in people over the age of 60. There are currently no cures or effective treatments available for people diagnosed with AMD.
Betty loved spending evenings with her husband, daughters and granddaughters staring up at the stars. However, as her vision loss progressed, the stars grew dimmer. Kym recalls a night standing on the balcony of a beach condo, marveling at the stars, only to look over and see her mom struggling to take in the same beauty.
Kym was determined to find a way for her mom to see stars again. On a trip a few months later, Kym took a photo of the night sky filled with stars. When she showed the photo to her mom, Betty was able to take in the beauty of the night sky. “All is not lost,” Kym said. “There is an element of hope all of the time for ways for her to be able to experience the things that are important to her.”
“These diseases rob us our independence, hobbies and joys,” explained Dr. Gregory Grossman, Chief Scientific Officer at Advancing Sight Network. “Vision loss is about more than just vision loss.”
AMD is genetic disease, and while it is unlikely that a cure will be discovered for Betty, she is filled with hope that research being done in places such as Advancing Sight’s Precision Ocular Biobank, will lead to treatment for her daughters and granddaughters.
“I wake up every day with the motivation to put in the effort,” Dr. Grossman said. “We have a clear target to develop a treatment, and with all of the partnerships we have, it’s only a matter of time.”
Advancing Sight Network partners with drug companies and researchers around the globe in the search for cures to blinding eye diseases, such as AMD. With your support, our scientist are confident in a future where every mother and grandmother can marvel at the stars with her family.
Learn more about how Advancing Sight Network is working to bring hope to families like Kym’s here.