Give the Gift of Sight

by Discovery Eye Foundation

You subscribed to email updates from Give the Gift of Sight, a project on GlobalGiving. Here's the unedited update from the field: 

Support Groups for Seniors with AMD
By Judith Delgado - Executive Director

Having age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be so isolating!  Many people withdraw from friends and family, frustrated by vision changes and the extra effort it requires to accomplish normal daily activities.

Support Groups can help so much.  Getting together with others who have the same issues is encouraging and can provide the social interactions needed to maintain emotional health.  Research shows that people with AMD who participate in support groups manage their vision loss better, are less depressed and more compliant with treatment.

The Partnership holds support groups throughout Southern California, but we can't be everywhere.  We get calls from patients, family and senior centers who are looking for support groups in their area.  Why not start your own?

The Macular Degeneration Partnership has recently received a grant from Genentech, Inc. to develop a free Toolkit for those interested in starting a support group in their area.  The guide will include practical tips and resources for organizing, publicizing and maintaining a group that meets regularly.  It will provide a list of topics for discussion, suggestions for speakers, templates for flyers and access to online support from our staff.  We'll be available to hold your hand and help you succeed in helping those with macular degeneration.

We're very excited to launch this project in the coming months.  If you are interested in participating, let us know. We'll put you on the list to be contacted with details.  Just email or call (888) 430-9898.

Thank you for your continued support of those who must deal with AMD and vision loss every day.  You've really made a difference!


Dr. Patel tells the audience about a new device
Dr. Patel tells the audience about a new device

In addition to the small intimate support groups for people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the Partnership holds larger workshops, seminars and classes.  These allow us to reach more people who have the disease or are hoping to avoid it.

Recently, 50 members of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) attended a free three-hour class on macular degeneration and low vision rehabilitation.  Sponsored by OLLI, the session took place on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.

Speakers included MDP Director Judi Delgado, who presented an overview of the disease, what can be done to prevent/delay it, and an update on the latest research and clinical trials.

Avani Patel, OD talked to the crowd about low vision rehabilitation and all the resources available to help those with low vision live independent lives.  

Nancy Hendrickson from the Braille Institute shared the many services of Braille and invited attendees to visit their facility in Anaheim.

The afternoon began with refreshments and the opportunity to visit tables with assistive devices, magnifiers and helpful gadgets for those with low vision.  Los Angeles Low Vision demonstrated digital magnifiers, both desktop and portable.  This technology allows those with limited vision to read mail, write checks, look at photos - and can even read the materials out loud.  The smaller devices are useful for reading menus and labels at the grocery store.

Braille Institute displayed a wide variety of helpful items, like talking clocks, large print address books and checkbooks, heavy black "20/20" pens and a gadget that reads prescription bottles.

These workshops are a valuable service to the community and we thank you for helping us continue to provide information and hope to seniors with age-related macular degeneration.

Adding notes to the helpful handout
Adding notes to the helpful handout

It's traditional at this time of year to reflect on the previous 12 months and this year we have so many reasons to be grateful.  With your support, Macular Degeneration Partnership has:

  • Started another new support group.  It's the fastest growing and always includes several family members and caregivers. who learn more about the disease and how they can help.

"The support group helps me a lot. MDP is a fantastic source of information. I’m worried about my kids, my grandchildren, my great grandchildren. So I need to keep up to date for them and for me. I learn so much in the group.

  • "Revamped the website, with a very popular "LISTEN" feature for those who have trouble reading even large print content.

"Just a few words to tell you that I have enjoyed listening to the Newsletter! What a nice feature, and it works so well! Very easy to use! Thank You!"  - Louise

  • Provided direct educational and emotional support for those dealing with AMD.

"I get so down in the dumps and then I go back and reread this newsletter and feel hopeful once again. I so pray they come up with something for Dry AMD ...thanks again - we are so hopeful.....Hugs, Sally"

For all of these reasons, we are so grateful to you for your support of our important mission.  You are helping to make a difference to our seniors in their daily lives.

We wish you the very best of the holiday season and health and happiness in the New Year.  


We are thrilled to share our exciting news with you and to thank you for helping make this possible.  Here's what you have accomplished:

  • New website
  • Audio capability
  • Translation options

The new was launched August 5, 2014 - take a look!  The enhanced design makes it easier to navigate, with added content, organized around the two types of AMD.  

Even better, visitors can now LISTEN to all the content, including the monthly newsletter.  People with macular degeneration often have very poor vision.  For those with advanced AMD, even the large print on our site may not be enough.  With ReadSpeaker, they don't have to miss a thing.   

Macular Degeneration Partnership members come from all over the world.  Now, the website is easily translated into dozens of languages at the touch of a button.

Developing these important enhancements has been a long road and you have supported us along the way.  I can't tell you how critical these changes are to our members with very low vision.  The audio in particular provides an access that was greatly needed.

As always, we appreciate your help.  More than that, seniors who are living with this frustrating and debilitating disease will appreciate it even more.

You have made a difference to our elders and those with macular degeneration.

Thank you. 



It's all about the numbers.

The Macular Degeneration Partnership reaches thousands of people a month, all over the world. 

But the thing that sets us apart - and the important thing that YOU have made happen, shows up in smaller but significant numbers. 

  • The 64 year old who was just diagnosed and is terrified she will lose her independence.
  • The grandmother who is getting treatment but doesn't see a change and wonders if she should stop.
  • The son who is worried because mom is starting to see things that aren't there.

They call us.  They email.  And we talk to them; we listen to them.  It's all well and good to go to a website to read up about macular degeneration. But what if you CAN'T even see it?  What if you're depressed or confused and the doctor doesn't have time to answer your questions?

We hold your hand.  We find resources.  We explain things.  

You help us do that.  You help us maintain support groups, where members say they learn more in an hour than they had known after 20 years with this disease.  Where they make friends and help each other.

So thank you.  Thank you for helping us to continue to provide warm support and unbiased information about age-related macular degeneration.  Because of you, we can reach out that hand.  

May is Healthy Vision Month - go get that eye exam!


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Organization Information

Discovery Eye Foundation

Location: Los Angeles, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Judith Delgado
Project Leader
Los Angeles, CA United States