When you donated to Discovery Eye Foundation for Macular Degeneration, you received a thank you note from us, of course. Because we appreciate your contribution.
I wish you could hear the thankful voices I hear everyday. They are so grateful for our support and help and you are a part of that. These are seniors who are facing the challenges of losing vision to age-related macular degeneration. Because of you, when they found us, they received help that made a difference.
Here is what they said:
In the coming year, we are redesigning our website to make it more accessible. It's in large print already, but we're adding a Voice Reader feature so that visitors can listen to the information as well.
Your support is making this possible and we thank you so much for your help.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Judi DelgadoExecutive DirectorMacular Degeneration Partnership
The campaign continues!
With your help, "Give Your Sight a Hand" was a huge success at the AARP Event and Expo. We are continuing to build momentum with every support group, every seminar, every health fair.
We're doing this to save vision! Your two eyes work together so beautifully that something could be wrong in one eye and you would never notice it - unless you close one eye at a time!
Do it now.
Cover your left eye and look at something familiar with the right eye. Does anything look distorted or blurry? Then cover your right eye and look with your left eye. If you see vision changes, call the eye doctor and get those peepers checked.
Even better, go to our website and print the Amsler Grid that is there. Focus on the black dot in the center - all the lines should be straight and nothing should be missing. Distorted lines are an early warning sign of macular degeneration.
Don't forget to sign up for our email newsletter before this weekend. I'll be reported on the most recent research in AMD directly from the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. Don't miss it.
And thanks for your support - you've made such a difference!
People who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are dealing with a lot of issues. Losing vision, having wet AMD and needing to get repeated injections into the eye - or having dry AMD and not have any treatment at all available. No wonder patients can be discouraged.
One of the most important things the Macular Degeneration Partnership gives them is hope. Our monthly email newsletter reports on all the latest scientific research and clinical trials for both kinds of AMD.
It's been a remarkable few months in the research community, with multiple clinical trials for age-related macular degeneration. Upcoming treatments include some for dry AMD, which currently has NO treatment, improvements to wet AMD treatments and restoration of vision for the blind.
The stem-cell therapy by Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT) is continuing in clinical trial at a nice pace. So far, there are 4 trial centers, each recruiting groups of patients with age-related macular degeneration or Stargardts (a juvenile form of macular degeneration). The first groups received 50,000 stem-cell derived retinal cells, but we're already into the second groups, which are getting 100,000 cells. So far, everyone is doing well, there are no significant complications and some people report improvement in vision. It's still too early to tell if this therapy will prove successful, but we're well on our way!
In the meantime, the Macular Degeneration Partnership encourages people to eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains, wear sunglasses, get some exercise - and stop smoking. All these steps can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
In September, the Partnership will have a booth at the AARP Life@50+ Event, where we will screen seniors for AMD, give them information and Amsler Grids, and answer their vision questions. If you are going, stop by and say hello. Mention Global Giving and we will give you a special gift.
We'll be using the AARP meeting to kick off International AMD Week 2012. Watch for more information on this global campaign.
The National Eye Institute has designated May as Healthy Vision Month in the U.S. As it happens, May is also Older Americans Month - so how appropriate is that for seniors at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
Actually, we are all at risk for AMD - yes, even YOU. Some of the risk factors are things you can't do anything about, like - your age, eye color, genes and gender. And even if you are young, you're going to want to start early to control the risks that you can, like - smoking, diet, weight, cholesterol, high blood pressure, sun exposure.
But, how do you know if your eyes may have a problem? Interestingly, you may not know unless you get an eye exam. And early detection may save your sight.
To remind people of the importance of getting an fully dilated eye exam, the Macular Degeneration Partnership has launched a Facebook campaign in May, posting daily information and curious eye facts. The May issue of AMD Update will also focus on early detection and early treatment. If you haven't visited the Facebook page of the Macular Degeneration Partnership, or subscribed to AMD Update, you can follow the attached links.
On May 23, the Partnership will be at the "Boomers and Beyond" health event at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California, to test the vision of those most at risk. We'll rush from there to an AMD Support Group in Beverly Hills, where an expert on low vision will demonstrate devices that can help those with vision loss.
The very next day, a collaborative group will present, "What's New in Low Vision". The audience at this free event will hear from the experts and then have a chance to try out some devices and techniques for themselves. It takes place at the Veterans Auditorium in Culver City.
It's a busy month! For more information, visit our website or contact us at 888-430-9898. And don't forget to schedule your eye exam!
2011 was a GREAT year for the Macular Degeneration Partnership program. Your support has helped us to accomplish so much in helping those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Visits to our website, AMD.org, went up 120%, with over 16,000 individuals a month staying up to date on treatment and research. Subscribers to AMD Update, our free email newsletter, have skyrocketed and 30 more people a week sign up to receive these updates.
But one of the most important things is our very personal, direct and professional support for patients and families. Your gift has allowed us to continue this unique service. Our toll-free warm line provides help and hope to hundreds of people a year. We stay on the phone with callers as long as necessary, until all their questions have been answered. We do the same for those who contact us by email.
Callers always tell us, "My mother felt SO much better after talking to you!" Just today, I received a thank you email: "Thank you for your response to my question. It was the best one that I have received."
We are now holding support group meetings in two locations in Southern California, every month. Our goal is to expand these in 2012, so more people can meet others with AMD and learn to cope with vision loss.
Thank you for everything you have done to support this important service!
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